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Blockbuster Trade Shakes Up Jackets Roster

For the second time this year Jarmo Kekalainen took a home run swing when changing the Blue Jackets roster.  You can call the Columbus General Manager a lot of things (and we all have recently), but you can’t say he’s timid.  In acquiring Brandon Saad and unloading Ryan Johansen  he has set his legacy well on its way and set the course for  the Blue Jackets next couple of years.

Although Marko Dano was a fan favorite the Brandon Saad trade has worked out very well for the Blue Jackets.  They acquired a young, dynamic forward who never takes a play off, can find the net, and appears to be the type of player to turn the locker room around.  Trading Ryan Johansen even up for Seth Jones has significantly more risk involved, but appears to be a win-win for both clubs.  The Jackets get a much needed top line defenseman, and the Nashville Predators gain a #1 Center for the next 7-10 years.  This move will be what fans of both teams debate and second guess for the next decade if one of these players flame out, or goes on to become a true top 5 player in the NHL.  Right now I’m going to take a wait and see approach, because everyone else has already interjected their 2 cents, and they all sound right and crazy at the same time.

So what will be next for our lost 2015-2016 campaign?  I’m not willing to call this a rebuild, because a one for one trade of two high caliber players doesn’t signify the waiving of the white flag for either team.  Its widely reported by local media that other moves will be made by the trade deadline.  As a fan of the CBJ, I hear that every year whether they are building the team up or tearing it down.  Twitter is on fire and its normal bipolar self.  Today’s new dust up is speculation that Cam Atkinson or Scott Hartnell are on their way out the door.  The other side is loaded with Twitter optimists hoping someone will magically take burdensome contracts away without sending another burdensome contract our way.  (That may or may not be aimed primarily at David Clarkson, and don’t hold your breath.  Just accept him as the bad free guy you got as a gift from Toronto for Nathan Horton’s ill fated contract).  I will venture a guess we will see one or two more moves before the deadline.  If the team doesn’t pull it together somewhat I can see some higher value contracts being dealt for mid round picks or fringe prospects.  I don’t expect another trade of this level (if that’s even possible), and I don’t see anyone taking the guys we don’t like at the bottom of the roster.  I also don’t expect Kerby Rychel to be called up because Management appears to have a plan for him that doesn’t include skating around here on the third or fourth line in limited action.  I know that digression isn’t part of the trade talk, but it always follows close behind the trade rumors.

As Blue Jackets fans, we are relegated to our normal role.  Safely out of the playoff races, wanting to watch competitive hockey as winter turns to spring while hoping to land the next #1 pick.  Which will go to Edmonton.  Because hockey.  Who knows, maybe we’ll land a big future #1 Center.

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