Columbus Blue Jackets: Who’s still on the trade market?

OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 30: Alex Galchenyuk
OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 30: Alex Galchenyuk /

The Columbus Blue Jackets are still in need of some help offensively, however two of their biggest targets are now in new towns. That begs the question: who’s still available?

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been in search of a high end forward, specifically a center basically since they traded away Ryan Johansen. With Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris now off of the trade market following a blockbuster three-team trade, there seemingly aren’t many options left for Jarmo Kekalainen to try to acquire.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

The next center on the trading block to start the season would likely have been Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, however his performance with limited minutes on a struggling Edmonton Oilers team may have made Peter Chiarelli decide to keep him for the time being. If the Blue Jackets were to try to acquire Nugent-Hopkins, his price is definitely higher than it would have been just two months ago.

The biggest issue with Nugent-Hopkins is likely his contract, $6M over the next four years is certainly a costly deal for a team expected to close to the salary cap like the Columbus Blue Jackets. However with the amount of big contracts about to kick in for the Oilers, namely Connor McDavid‘s new deal, it could make sense for them to try to move Nugent-Hopkins.

Another option would be Alex Galchenyuk from the Montreal Canadiens. There has been some question about whether or not Galchenyuk will develop into a top center, or if he’ll get stuck as a winger. It is possible that all Galchenyuk needs to succeed is a change of scenery, and Columbus would certainly be just that. Going from the bright lights and media frenzy of Montreal to a relatively calm media city in terms of hockey could be a great career move.

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The main question about these players would likely be, which one is most realistic? The answer is certainly Alex Galchenyuk. Not only would acquiring him be huge for the Columbus Blue Jackets, even if he was just a winger, but keeping him away from the Pittsburgh Penguins who had been linked as a possible fit by Darren Dreger of TSN.

Nick Foligno‘s success at center this season for the Columbus Blue Jackets makes Galchenyuk an even more interesting option. In the off-season Galchenyuk’s questionable ability at center eliminated him from most rumors. Now the Blue Jackets just need a high-end forward, and even though a center would be helpful, it’s not a requirement.

The biggest issue with a potential trade would now be the cost to acquire a player at this point in the season, the return Duchene fetched for the Avalanche will certainly sky-rocket the price of any comparable players.