Mar 22, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Nikita Nikitin (6) during pre game warm-ups between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena. Columbus beat Calgary 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets Shopping Nikita Nikitin? Good Idea

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday November 3rd, Jim Matheson posted in the Edmonton Journal that the Columbus Blue Jackets are looking to trade Nikita Nikitin to bring Tim Erixon up out of the AHL.

The Blue Jackets are trying to move defenceman Nikita Nikitin to get Tim Erixon (a piece of Rick Nash trade) up from the minors. Nikitin was very good the last 30 games for the Jackets last season, but his play has dropped way off.

Nikitin has been scratched 6 times already this season, and for good reason.  He doesn’t have speed, size, or skill.  He often looks as though he is dragging his feet or skating through snow.  He is 6’4″ and 223 lbs, but he doesn’t use it to his advantage.  He doesn’t throw his weight around on the ice and rarely fights.

As for skill, he has one assist in the current season and only 51 career NHL points. 32 of those career NHL points came during the 2011-12 season after being traded to the Blue Jackets from the St Louis Blues.  Since that season, he has only had 10 points.  His play has noticeably declined and he has contributed to more turnovers than an NHL defenseman should.

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

His turnover plus-minus (Turnover Plus-minus is a statistic that measures the difference between the number of times a player takes the puck away from opponents and the times a player gives the puck up to opponents) is a -2 for the current season.  During the shortened season, he was a -7.  During the first period of the game tonight, Nikitin just looked lost.

The 6th Sens outlined why Nikitin would be a good asset and why the Ottawa Senators should trade for him.  Personally, I would be okay with Ottawa taking him for a second round pick.  Fans have been calling for him to be traded since training camp a few months ago.  The CBJ have depth in defense, with Tim Erixon playing in the AHL until a spot opens up and other players ready to be called up when necessary.

What do you think? Keep him? Ditch him? Let us know!

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