Are the Jackets involved in any trade deadline deals? My short answer is IDK (I don't know, for all of you non-hipsters out there). Checking out the rumor chart on this very website, they have ties to Andreas Athanasiou, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Chris Kreider. What would the Jackets have to give up for any one of those players? Each player is on the last year of their current contract. Each plays on a team that should be considered sellers.
Jackets fans could not stomach a situation like last off season when all the rentals and free agents jumped ship. Those 'selling' teams would likely want futures, which means giving up AHL players that filled in and showed they could play in the NHL or draft picks. And the Jackets are short on draft picks.
While Columbus is in the playoff picture right now (3rd in the division!), they could act as sellers. What I mean by that is that they could move some of their assets for picks or prospects. Hear me out, it's not a crazy as you think. Just on the blue line, here is a list of NHL worthy players:
That is a whopping 10 NHL defensmen, 10! All have played this season and none of them looked out of place on the NHL ice. There are two problems with trading any of these guys: 1) Last season in the playoffs, injuries on the back end led to inexperienced players getting ice time and 2) All are on cap friendly contracts or will become RFAs.
The bonus to trying to shop these guys is that they have a favorable contract situation. That could mean more value. And with several teams needing help on D and in a cap crunch, many of these options look favorable. Could TOR send a forward to Columbus? They have an embarrassment of riches in the scoring department but could use help on defense.
I also suggested that Josh Anderson could be expendable given his time away from a line up that didn't really miss him. That could be true of almost any of the forwards this year...for the right price.
Is there a William Nylander to be had out there? A guy with term, on a team that needs defensive help? Maybe.
This season Jarmo is in the catbird seat. IMO he should let the offers come to him and not necessarily go seeking anything out. I'm pretty sure having too much depth on defense isn't a bad thing. But if the right offer for one of those defensmen comes along, he should act upon it.
The Return of Bob
Florida skates into Columbus tonight. Both teams sit in 3rd place in their respective division. Obviously the fans and players will be amped up to face former CBJ goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Bob comes in with a 20-13-4 record, giving up over 3 goals per game and saving 89% of shots he faces. But, FLA scores goals, 188 of them to be exact (T-3rd NHL). The Panthers come in on the second half of a back-to-back, playing in TOR last night.
Columbus is in a tight race for that third spot in the Metro. PHI, NYI and CAR are all within 2 points of Columbus. The Flyers have the same number of points (65) and games played, the Isles are one point back but have three games in hand and CAR trails by 2 points with a game in hand. Its good to be on the top of that pile, but you have to continue to win to stay there.
Good Luck and Go Jackets!