5 unrestricted free agents the Blue Jackets could pursue this summer

The Blue Jackets head into another off-season of change. If the new GM decides to take a "win now" approach, here are some free agents that could make sense.
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It might be a bit of a stretch to think that the Blue Jackets could go out and add any big ticket free agents this summer. Of course, none of us saw the team landing arguably the biggest UFA name in recente memory in Johnny Gaudreau. Anything can happen.

Ultimately, their decisions will depend on whether or not the incoming GM views this roster as nearly ready for contention. We've been told quite a bit over the last couple of seasons that they are "really close", but there may not be much behind that other than hope.

Still, with the season winding down, we know that this team has to come back improved next year. They can't have another bottom-5 finish. They're going to do everything within their power to improve.

One thing that would help: adding a player (or players) to play alongside Gaudreau on the top line. Here are a few names that stand out.

Sean Monahan

If we're talking about finding players to play with Gaudreau, who better than his former Calgary Flames line-mate Sean Monahan?

The two were teammates for 9 seasons in Calgary, and had plenty of memorable moments together. In fact, Monahan's career-best 34 goal, 82 point season came in 2018-19, when Gaudreau had 63 assists and 99 points.

Monahan is a big, heavy goal scoring center who can win faceoffs while playing up and down the lineup. In that regard, he's exactly what we need.

Injuries derailed a career that looked like it was heading for bigger and better things. But after some time away, he looks to be in great health again - and he's producing. He has 24 goals and 56 points in 80 games this season.

He makes sense for a young Jackets team that could use some immediate help down the middle, but may not want to shell out the assets or dollars for a long-term fix.

If they could sign the 29-year-old to a 2 or 3 year deal in that $5-$7 million dollar range, it has the potential to be a big win. This kind of move would buy time for further development of the young centers already on the Columbus roster.

But, getting him to sign short-term may be tough sledding, as productive centers on the free agent market usually land big contracts. He's not the only one available, though.