Columbus Blue Jackets Options without Duchene: Free Agents

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 08: Matt Calvert
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 08: Matt Calvert /

Matt Duchene likely won’t be headed to the Columbus Blue Jackets at this point. Remaining options don’t have Duchene’s potential, but there is still value on the market.

With center William Karlsson now in Las Vegas, Columbus Blue Jackets fans are left disagreeing on how the open spot should be filled. Is the front office content with the current roster? Is a trade necessary?

Regardless, the Blue Jackets will have a new center in the lineup this fall.

What makes this offseason interesting is whether Pierre-Luc Dubois is ready for a full-time role or not, but we won’t know until October.

Nonetheless, if decided a center is needed, certain UFA’s would still make sense for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

Mike Fisher

A 37-year old center who is considering retirement? Jackpot!

Sarcasm, of course, but a year in Columbus for Mike Fisher could work if management thinks Dubois needs more time to develop. Fisher would bring great leadership and wouldn’t have to be a first or second line center.

Fisher has had quite a few injuries in his career, meaning a lessened role would work in his favor. Both sides can get a good return out of a short-term deal.

Ultimately, at this point in his career, Fisher may not want to go to a new city. On the other hand, the Blue Jackets have nothing to lose by reaching out.

Andrej Nestrasil

Andrej Nestrasil’s falling out with the Carolina Hurricanes came during the season after saying, “I don’t want to stay here.”

Read into the situation however you want, but the guy needs a fresh start. He is only 26-years old and could benefit from being on a better team.

In 19 NHL games this past year with Carolina, Nestrasil scored 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists). He added 14 points (5 goals and 9 assists) in 39 AHL games.

He wouldn’t come to Columbus and put up crazy numbers, but he would be serviceable.

Andrew Desjardins

Signing Andrew Desjardins won’t move the needle, but he does have significant NHL experience.

After having a down season last year in Chicago, a change of scenery could help Desjardins make an impact. He only managed 1 point in 46 games last year, but Columbus wouldn’t expect him to rack up the points.

Desjardins will likely be on the market for a while and could be a decent backup plan if he is needed. He also wouldn’t demand the most expensive contract which is always a plus.

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With Duchene off the table, the Jackets will have to look to the free agent market. These options aren’t stellar, but could be on the table.