Who Must Go?
Let’s start with these assumptions (I know what happens when you assume but…). The Blue Jackets must, not like to or would help or anything else, have a offensive defenseman that can quarterback the power play. The other assumption is that the CBJ have too many quality wingers and would like to move one or more to acquire said defenseman.
Now that we have this cleared up. Which winger would or should be on the move.
1. Kristian Huselius – Juice is a highly skilled winger that can stick handle in a phone booth with 3 players in it. He also has an affection for the pipe. Not that pipe but more like the crossbar. Huselius fired the most shots in his career last year but could only muster 21 goals. He had plenty of opportunities and even at points I thought he didn’t shoot enough. A natural spot would be to go to Toronto where they are looking for some scoring punch and have too many defenseman. Kaberle and Huselius would almost be a wash on salary. The only sticking point is that Brian Burke prefers North American players and not much taste for Euro’s but he might make an exception here.
2. Jason Chimera – I wouldn’t like to see Chimmer go because he fits the roll of a 3rd line checking winger so well and it doesn’t address the over abundance of top 6 forwards that the Union Blue have on the roster. The unfortunate part is that he might be the most valuable to other GM’s. Why you ask? Welcome to the world of the salary cap. Chimmer makes $1.875 million which is cap friendly. He is a versatile player that can play from your teams 2nd line to 4th line. Teams that will be looking for these cap friendly players will be Chicago, Philadelphia and San Jose. The Sharks, as they sit right now, are in a heap of trouble. That is why the rumor, whether it was true or not, of Chimera for Christian Ehrhoff made some sense. Now don’t believe for a second that it would be a straight up trade as Howson would have to give up another prospect or draft picks to make that trade work.
3. Nikita Filatov – This is the winger that might fetch the most on the market. He has a lot of hype behind him but at this point that is all it is. The Blue Jackets THINK he is going to be a special player and THINK he could be a 40+ goal scorer and THINK that he could be a perennial All-Star. What I KNOW is that Sheldon Souray has an insane shot from the point and scored 23 goals last year as a defenseman. Souray would quarterback the power play and immediately make other teams think about the Jackets on the man advantage. There’s other defenseman that they could trade for using the Filatov card. If Scott Howson plays this card, he will need to make sure because you will only be able to play it once.
Other wingers that don’t move the needle as much but might be put in trades to make them work would be Jared Boll, Derek Dorsett, Maxim Mayorov and Tommy Sestito.
Don’t fall asleep yet Blue Jacket fans as there is still at least one more move that Howson will make.
Fire The Cannon!