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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Matt Duchene

It seems like ages ago, but Matt Duchene was a Blue Jacket for a brief moment in time. He was a part of the 2019 team that won the first ever playoff series in franchise history.

In fact, he scored 10 points in 10 playoff games for this team that year. But they opted not to offer him a contract after that spring, allowing him to hit the open market.

He signed a 7-year, $56m contract with the Nashville Predators that summer, and he had some pretty productive years there. Two years ago, he set career highs across the board; scoring 43 goals and 86 points for the Preds.

But, the team decided to take a different direction over last summer however, with new GM Barry Trotz buying Duchene out and sending him to the open market again.

The Dallas Stars came calling and offered Duchene one-year contract valued at $3 million dollars. Suffice to say, he's on track for another big payday this summer.

Through 78 games, Duchene has 25 goals, 64 points and a +14 rating for the Stars - all while winning 56.7% of his faceoffs.

You might remember him from his time in Columbus, but if you don't: he is a strong faceoff guy who has great speed and high end playmaking abilities.

In short, he's everything you want in a #1 scoring center.

With all of that said, he is 33 years old, so there will inevitably be a drop-off in production in the near future. So, like with Monahan, the plan here would be trying to sign him to a shorter term (2 or 3 year) contract.

Merely taking a shot in the dark, I would guess Duchene's AAV comes in between $7 and $8 million. If it's a short-term deal, I would consider that.