5 Blue Jacket skaters who could be moved for more roster flexibility

The Blue Jackets are still searching for the right pieces to fill out their lineup. But before they can add, they need to subtract. Who could be on their way out?
Columbus Blue Jackets v Florida Panthers
Columbus Blue Jackets v Florida Panthers / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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One of Ivan Provorov or Jake Bean

...or maybe both?

The Jackets don't need to make changes up front this summer. We talked quite a bit throughout the year about how the team has good defensemen, but it was just the wrong mix.

Part of that issue: all three guys playing on the left side are geared towards offense. Provorov's acquisition really felt like a fail-safe in case one of Werenski or Bean (or, Heaven forbid, both - again) were injured this season.

He's been Mr. Reliable as far as games played; and he fit that description this year as the only player to play in all 82 Blue Jacket games.

Defensively, however ... let's just say, it wasn't a perfect match. Provorov struggled quite a bit when the puck wasn't on his stick.

Still, he has a lot of value as a guy who can stay healthy and chip in offense. He scored 5 goals and 32 points for the Jackets this year, while seeing only secondary offensive minutes on a lot of nights due to playing behind Zach Werenski.

He could net a nice return for the team if they want to recoup some of the draft capital they gave up to get him last summer. Then, they could go out and find a nice heavy, stay-at-home defenseman to fill the void he leaves behind.

Meanwhile, Jake Bean hasn't quite developed into the player taken 13th overall at the 2016 NHL Draft, and I have to wonder if that will ever occur. He'll be 26 years old when next season starts, and his career year so far was a 25-point output in 67 games with the Jackets in 2021-22.

Otherwise, he seems relegated to the third defense pair - where he gets frequently outmatched physically. He's an RFA this summer, so it will be interesting to see if the team decides to extend him, trade him, or just move on. Trade value here would be relatively low, most likely.

All of this is a long-winded way of wondering how close Denton Mateychuk or Stanislav Svozil are to playing in the NHL. The team may want to clear out a roster spot for one of them to make a push this fall.

Which brings me back to needing a heavier, more reliable stay-at-home option. This would let one of the youngsters play in the offensive situations, while sheltering them in the heavier defensive minutes.

Doing that could mean moving on from both Provorov and Bean, depending on how they feel about the readiness of one or both of these two prospects.

It will be an interesting summer to watch, as the new GM of this team will surely want to make an immediate impact to the roster. How deep those changes go, will have to wait to be seen.