The trade deadline is over and hockey fans, especially Columbus Blue Jackets fans, everywhere can finally breathe. Especially GM Jarmo Kekalainen, as he was the busiest general manager in the NHL. He made 4 separate trades within the week leading up to the trade deadline.
1. Acquired: Matt Duchene, Julius Bergman
Columbus Blue Jackets trade: Vitali Abramov, Jonathan Davidsson, 2019 first round pick, conditional 2020 first round pick
Analysis: The Blue Jackets get the top 6 center that they desperately needed. They gave up two middle-tier forward prospects, which is not bad considering the depth at forward within the prospect ranks for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Giving up one, potentially two, first round picks hurt. But if Duchene signs long term in Columbus, this will be a good deal for this season and seasons to come.
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2. Acquired: Ryan Dzingel, 2019 seventh round pick
In exchange for: Anthony Duclair, 2019 second round pick, 2020 second round pick
Analysis: The Blue Jackets get a good winger entering his prime. The two second round picks is tough to swallow, but will be worth it if Dzingel re-signs with Columbus and can score 20+ goals a season. Losing Anthony Duclair is not a big hit for the Columbus Blue Jackets, as he had fallen out of favor with head coach John Tortorella. An added perk: Dzingel is a former Ohio State hockey player and loves the city of Columbus. It is desirable to have players that WANT to be in the city they play for, which hasn’t always been the case for the CBJ through their history (see Jeff Carter). This may make the likelihood of Dzingel resigning with the CBJ more likely.
3. Acquired: Keith Kinkaid
In exchange for: 2022 fifth round pick
Analysis: The Blue Jackets acquire a reliable backup goaltender for a fairly low price. The goaltending depth is much improved for a playoff run.
4. Acquired: Adam McQuaid
In exchange for: Julius Bergman, 2019 fourth round pick, 2019 seventh round pick
Analysis: McQuaid is a steady, stay-at-home defensemen. He will help shore up some of the defensive lapses that are common with the CBJ. He won’t score much and won’t be a defensive super star. But he adds depth to the blue line, which is critical for a deep playoff run.
5. Acquired: Future Considerations
In exchange for: Alex Broadhurst
Analysis: Broadhurst was rarely a call-up and is an AHL mainstay. Likely a move to eliminate a contract. Although this move does hurt the Monsters offense.
Overall Assessment: The Blue Jackets filled many holes within their team and added depth. They are primed for a playoff run and are serious about winning. Yes, many of the players coming over at free agents and the CBJ have their own free agents (Bob and Panarin) to worry about. But winning will increase the likelihood that some of these players will stay and be in the union blue sweater for a long time.