Columbus Blue Jackets Should be Active at the Trade Deadline

Feb 16, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Nationwide Arena, Home of the Columbus Blue Jackets Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Nationwide Arena, Home of the Columbus Blue Jackets Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

With the trade deadline a week away the Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves in playoff position. With the opportunity in front of them, the Jackets need to improve the team any way they can. Grabbing an asset at the deadline may be what pushes the team to the promise land.

My esteemed colleague here at Union and Blue, Lansing Murphy, wrote an editorial earlier this week detailing all the reasons why the Columbus Blue Jackets shouldn’t look to trade at the deadline. I’m here to tell you he could not be more wrong.

Related Story: Jackets Should Stay out of Trade Market

The Blue Jackets Cannot Assume Future Success

Success in the NHL does not come around too often. Especially here in the Capital City. This season has been a gift from the heavens. Nothing in the future is guaranteed no matter how many young guys you think are going to pan out or how great you think your coach is. The wheels can fall off at a moments notice. This year, unlike many we’ve had, has been great from the start. The team is playing at a level this city has never seen. As the playoffs loom, it is all but assured we will be in the mix.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

The playoffs though are a different burden. You can try to bank on your goalie coming up big any time you need him. Or hope one of your forwards gets hot and takes over a game or two.

What really wins in the playoffs? The old hockey clichés we love so much. Team defense, four lines rolling, getting pucks deep, getting pucks to the net. That’s what wins you a couple of rounds come springtime.

Not saying this team can’t or doesn’t do that. They do. We have watched them do it against some of the best in the league.

However we have also seen a fair amount of inconsistency as of late and when the intensity picks up in April I don’t know if some of these guys can hack it like we think they can.

Bringing in a defenseman to reinforce that blue line and making Sergei Bobrovski’s life easier can go a long way come playoff time.

Expansion Draft

There is another uncertain phenomenon looming that most in Jackets land do not want to address, and that is the expansion draft. With Las Vegas entering the league next year every team will most likely depart with a valuable player.

While I will dive into the specifics of the draft and how they may or may not impact the CBJ later, the uncertainty surrounding the off-season plays into this year’s trade deadline.

The Blue Jackets most likely stand to lose one of their bottom 6 forwards in this expansion draft. The front office should swap one of these guys for some value now, so they are not poached come summertime.

While fans love the likes of Matt Calvert and Josh Anderson, they are in no way irreplaceable. If the right deal comes along, the boys in the front office would be foolish to sit still and not take advantage of situation.

While I trust the likes of John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen, I also keep going back to the uncertainty of the NHL. While this season does feel different, I remember how 2009 was supposed to be the first of many Steve Mason lead playoff runs. Or how injuries ravaged the team in 2014-2015 after a playoff appearance the year before.  Nothing is guaranteed in this league. Making a move now to help the CBJ go on a deep playoff run is the right move.