Columbus Blue Jackets Win Third Straight Without Wennberg

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Alexander Wennberg
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Alexander Wennberg /

The Columbus Blue Jackets have won their third straight game without their top line center. How valuable is Alexander Wennberg then?

The answer to that is $4.9 million a year. The Columbus Blue Jackets top line center signed a contract with that annual average salary this offseason. But Alexander Wennberg’s value on the ice certainly hasn’t been that this season.

Following a breakout season in 2016-2017, Wennberg had been disappointing even before missing three games with an injury. Wennberg is on a 40 point pace after scoring 59 last season. He has not been the playmaker along side Artemi Panarin the team thought he would and has been shifted across many line combinations.

He also was completely taken off the power play unit. Not just off the first line. This following a season where he had 23 power play points. The Columbus Blue Jackets power play has been a complete dumpster fire this season even without Wennberg on the top unit but his rough start certainly hasn’t helped.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

Wennberg’s season is not what the Jackets expected or need. In order for this team to make some noise in the playoffs and contend for a Stanley Cup he needs to be a top line center. He hasn’t shown that he can do this at all this season and now the Jackets are winning without him in the lineup.

Return from Injury Expectations

The Jackets are winning and playing fine without their top line center. They can’t afford for this to happen all season though. Sergei Bobrovsky is carrying the team and he will certainly hit a rough patch.

Sooner or later, the team will need Wennberg to get back creating offensive opportunities. The Metro is too tough to have long stretches without accumulating points. It is promising that the Jackets are still delivering without Wennberg, literally or figuratively, but the clock is ticking.

Alexander Wennberg has been skating with and could return for the Ottawa Senators game on Friday. It will be vital for him to get his legs back underneath him and buckle down for the remaining 60 games. The Jackets will not win a playoff series without the Alexander Wennberg they gave a $4.9 million contract this summer.