Despite having no quality unrestricted free agents, Blue Jackets expected to be active at trade deadline
The Columbus Blue Jackets were never able to recover from starting the season with eight straight regulation losses and have put themselves into the position to sell at the 2016 NHL trade deadline. However, they are a strange case, as they only have two unrestricted free agents, both of which would barely fetch a low pick.
Those two free players are Rene Bourque and Justin Falk. Both men are not appetizing to teams making a Cup run. Columbus does have some assets they could still trade, though.
One is Scott Hartnell. The 33 year old winger has a respectable 39 points in 58 games this year and is a known agitator. Hartnell still has three years left on his salary. For a team looking to make a playoff push this year and next year, it’s a good investment. But you run the risk of having a worn down and potentially non-productive Hartnell in the last two years of his deal. We’ll see if anyone takes the bait.
Another favorite to be traded is veteran defenseman Fedor Tyutin. Tyutin is 32 with two more years left on his deal after this one.
Do teams take a risk going after these players with term left? Tyutin would have one year left and Hartnell would have two if the NHL expanded for the 2017-2018 season, where they could potentially be dropped into the expansion draft by the team who acquires them. Anyways, we’ll put the tinfoil hats away for now.
As the trade deadline goes, Hartnell and Tyutin should be two names that float around. Whether that is the extent of Columbus’ moves next Monday or not, we do not know. However, the roster will looked changed going into next season regardless.