Archive for March, 2015


The Aftermath

jordyn leopold letter

Quick recap of the action in the last 24 hours:

  • Jordan Leopold was dealt to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Defenseman Justin Falk and a 2015 5th-round pick. Of note with this trade: The Blue Jackets traded a player who was consistently NOT playing for a potential depth defenseman and an additional pick in the upcoming draft. Of most importance was “The Letter”. I cannot think of a more heartfelt, adorable, endearing, etc., way to plead for your dad to “come home” to Minnesota. I have a huge amount of respect for both GMs for making this dream a reality for young Jordyn and the entire Leopold family. Easily the best story of the day.
  • Amid the swirling rumors of Cam Atkinson’s upcoming departure, in an approximately 15 minute span it came to light that a contract extension was being hammered out and that it had been agreed to. 3 years, $3.5 million AAV. Not a bad number for a guy about to appear in his 200th game and has already reached the 50 goal plateau. After scoring 4 goals in 5 games February 6-14, Cam has seen a very limited amount of success in the Jackets’ losing streak. I know I’m not the only one hoping that with the contract extended and trade deadline passed, Cam can get out from under the pressure and build some consistency down the stretch of the final 20 games.
  • Finally, the move some couldn’t wait for, others dreaded, and many bemoaned: James Wisniewski and a 2015 3rd-round pick were dealt to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2015 2nd-round pick, William Karlsson and Rene Bourque. Initial reaction to this deal is anger and frustration. Karlsson is the most interesting piece of this trade right now, the 2nd round pick in the upcoming draft is something to be happy with, and Rene Bourque is OVERPAID for a minor-leaguer (potentially another reclamation project for Jarmo and JD?).

20 games left…


Where Will Wiz End Up/The Case for Wiz

With the trade winds whirling and less than 24 hours to the deadline, I took some time to look over the teams that could most likely use a player like James Wisniewski, and in the end make a case for why he should remain in Columbus.

The Clarkson-Horton deal was a shocker that took much of the attention away from the already swirling drama around Wiz. The Dispatch reported the Blue Jackets had started shopping Wiz and then it was further reported that the 10 team list of teams to whom he would NOT approve a trade would focus on teams that the CBJ would most likely be able to trade him to.

Mr. Portzline’s tweets:

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 6.37.21 PM

So with all of that said, here are the teams without a defenseman in the top 20 points leaders and their available cap space (in millions):

Anaheim Ducks – $4.4

St. Louis Blues – $1 (Shattenkirk is sidelined indefinitely)

Tampa Bay Lightning – $3

Vancouver Canucks – $0.5

Winnipeg Jets – $6.5

Minnesota Wild – $5.7

New Jersey Devils – $2.8

Toronto Maple Leafs – $1.6

Edmonton Oilers – $4.2

Buffalo Sabres – $9.2

With Wiz almost certainly vetoing any trade to the usual suspects (Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Toronto) and if he REALLY wants to stay here, the potential trade partners for Jarmo Kekäläinen are EXTREMELY limited.

Personally I would hate to see him go for multiple reasons:

  • Wiz leads CBJ defensemen in points with 7-21-28
  • Ryan Murray still hasn’t been consistently healthy
  • The intangibles – Leadership, Character, Respect, Commitment

Does Wiz make some boneheaded plays? Yes, but who on the CBJ doesn’t? I have very strong feelings about the potential sell-off of James Wisniewski. His contract is large enough that the potential return will not likely justify the subtraction of everything he brings to our team. The CBJ have waited for nearly their entire existence to have a regular point-producing defenseman on the back-end, and now they have several. This season was lost after the horrible months of October and November along with the horrific rash of injuries, there is no reason to jettison such a precious commodity in this forgettable year for the Jackets. It’s time now to shore up our deficiencies for the 2015-16 season, namely an improved training staff, and not hurt the limited offense already here.

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