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Columbus Retooling notes

June 25, 2021, 9:23 AM ET [3 Comments]
The Fan Blog
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By Zjmac

According to Aaron Portzline from the Athletic via PuckEmpire of Instagram from their June 22, 2021 post "a detachment has formed between the front office and the dressing room of the Columbus Blue Jackets." This news being leaked by the top beat writer of the franchise since inception poses some major potential worries about the state of the union in the Buckeye state. Superstar players have been a constantly dismissed from the city for more money; budgetary constraints from ownership; negotiations of prospects and homegrown talent; and injured veterans are all ongoing issues within the organization. Portzy revealing this news is not being discussed enough around the hockey world as there may be more lingering issues throughout the remainder of players' tenures in the organization, or a more growing desire of more wishing to depart out of the city, where the current identity urges players that want to play in Columbus to stay.

Columbus is currently in a state of retooling as the club has lost lots of futures and quality players in the recent years due to success and playoff performances. At this past deadline, they acquired two first round draft picks, a third round draft pick, two fourth round picks, and a sixth round draft pick for Nick Foligno, David Savard, and Riley Nash. The seasoning of these players after many consecutive postseasons shows the market for gritty, tough, stable players around the National Hockey League.

Columbus' fifth overall pick is the highest they have drafted since Pierre-Luc Dubois in 2016. The 25th overall pick comes from the Foligno trade though Toronto; and the Bolts pick will either be between 28th overall and 31st overall depending on the remainder of the postseason performances by the few teams left. The youth in Columbus is on the rise between Foudy and Chinakov up front and Tasarov between the pipes for them to be formidable, but there is not enough left due to the current roster construction.

It was also leaked by Portzline that the Blue Jackets may leave winger Gustav Nyqvist exposed to the Seattle Kraken in the July expansion draft due to his injury history and contract status. This also combats the reports of Max Domi being left open to grab as well due to his injury and off-season surgery. Nyqvist joined Columbus wanting to sign here after San Jose was unable to afford him after their playoff performance a couple years ago. The veteran's injury history also duels with his performance on the ice as he is a streaky goal-scorer for the Union Blue. This will leave at least $5M to the cap for Columbus, but also a gaping hole for offense in a poor offensive system in Columbus.

Other dysfunctions have gone on through the trade rumors and contract dilemmas between Columbus and winger Patrik Laine and defender Seth Jones. Even though Laine is a pending RFA with arbitration rights, teams are still calling the Blue Jackets brass about his availability. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet and the 31 (32) Thoughts Podcast has wondered of the Florida Panthers interest in the Finnish sniper because of his healthy relationship with center Alexander Barkov. Laine was brought in to Columbus with hometown boy Jack Roslovic for disgruntled center Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 3rd round draft pick. Additional teams connected to Laine's camp in trade rumors have been the Los Angeles Kings - according to Eklund- and Anaheim Ducks. As for Jones, he told the team he will not resign with the club after this season, and the heavy favorite for him according to multiple sources is the Colorado Avalanche after their poor postseason performance, and the youth and experience they may have in a perfect package for Columbus.

With this information being leaked and not being discussed, there are a lot of holes in the ship of the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise, which may lead to a longer term rebuild than fans and analysts are prepared to think or discuss going forward into the future.

What are your thoughts on the Columbus Blue Jackets? More to come...
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