In short, no. I don’t think the Jackets should make a move on any of the players coming up for trades in the next few days. With the pre-Olympic trade deadline set for February 7, many teams are looking to move some players around. The biggest names that have come up in hockey trade rumors recently are Ryan Callahan and Thomas Vanek. Personally, I don’t think either would be a good acquisition for the team right now, and here’s why.
These two players are big-name players, and the Jackets have had no luck in acquiring big-time players in the past. First, there was Jeff Carter. He was supposed to come to Columbus and make a difference, be a leader. That flopped. Not only did Carter not show up to perform, he made it known to the world that he didn’t want to be here. This hurt morale on the bench, and lead to the team finishing last in the NHL and trading Carter to Los Angeles. I feel that bringing Vanek or Callahan to Columbus would likely end up in a similar, negative situation.
Additionally, there is Marian Gaborik. The Jackets acquired Gaborik on the trade deadline last season, and he has been less than impressive this year. Gaborik has been injured for the majority of this season, and it seems like the team plays better without him. They won 8 games in a row with him out of the lineup. It certainly seems as if the team plays better with Gaborik on the bench, and adding a player like him to the lineup just doesn’t make much sense.
Lastly, the Jackets don’t need to bring in a big-name player to play well. They have an identity as a young, hard-working team, and their play at the end of last season and through this past month certainly backs that up. Some fans have voiced the opinion that the return of Marian Gaborik will in fact hurt the Jackets, so there is no need to make a move to bring in a player similar to him. This team is playing well and competing for an Eastern Conference playoff spot, so there isn’t a desperate need to make changes. The Jackets are working on building a team, and making a trade for a player like Callahan or Vanek would, in my opinion, halt the forward progress of the franchise. Now is not the time to make a change. What do you think?