From the moment I saw how Dustin Byfuglien’s name was pronounced “Bufflin”, I wondered why. And last night I found out. It shouldn’t be “Bufflin” at all.
It was a story told to me the other night in Powell River by a friendly salty dog named Bob Briggs, a retired diver and one of the original 1950’s Powell River Regals, the local senior team with three Allan Cup titles under their belt.
In 1997, the Allan Cup was held in Powell River, and one of the teams involved was the Warroad Lakers from Minnesota. At the rink during this time, Bob had met some of the Lakers and invited everyone to a day out on the ocean on his boat, to show them the wonders of this unreal area.
One of the guys who went for the ride was an older fellow named Ken Byfuglien, who had come to the tournament as a fan to cheer on his son who was on the Warroad team. Ken just happens to be Dustin Byfuglien’s grandfather, and Ken’s son who was playing in the Allan Cup is Dustin’s uncle.
Bob Briggs became great friends with Ken Byfuglien, they’ve stayed in touch all these years, and Bob and his wife Lorna visited Ken in Roseau, Minnesota when they were on a big bike trip not long ago. Roseau is a just a long cow pie throw from Warroad, and Roseau is where Dustin’s from.
“I saw that feature they did on Dustin on CBC between periods,” says Bob, “and Lorna and I had sat at the same kitchen table in that house in Roseau as they showed on the clip.”
And Bob filled me in with big news. The Byfuglien’s, the whole family, pronounce their name almost as it looks, “By-foog-lien.” Not Bufflin.
I asked Bob why he thought it became pronounced “Bufflin” and he has no idea. “Maybe the announcers found it easier,” he guessed.
Bob also said maybe he’ll ask old Ken the next time he talks to him.
I also thought, if we can pronounce long and difficult European’s players’ names correctly, why can’t we do the same with Byfuglien?