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.
Winnipeg Jets v New Jersey Devils
Winnipeg Jets v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
5 of 5

Steven Stamkos

With full and complete bias, if I were taking over as GM of the Blue Jackets, my very first task would be to woo Steven Stamkos into signing in Columbus.

I know what people are going to say. "He's washed up. The only reason he's producing is because of Kucherov", etc.

I hear those thoughts. I choose to ignore them, because this is exactly the kind of player the Blue Jackets need.

At 34 years old, his best days are certainly behind him. He's not going to be a 40 or 50 goal scorer again in his career, most likely.

But, here's a proven winner who is competitive as they come. He's a leader in every aspect, and I think he fits the need the Blue Jackets have for a short-term fix on their top line.

He has 39 goals and 77 points in 76 games for Tampa Bay this season, so there is still some magic here. If the Bolts do let Stamkos walk to free agency, plenty of teams will be interested.

If the Jackets could woo Stamkos to signing a 2 or 3 year deal, I would give him whatever he wants to come to Central Ohio. This is the kind of mentor I want for Kirill Marchenko, Yegor Chinakhov, Kent Johnson ... heck, every young player in the system.

Imagine the team rolling out Johnny Gaudreau and Steven Stamkos on a line with Adam Fantilli next season. If he reaches full potential, I can see Fantilli as a similar type of competitive winner. It's almost too perfect, in my opinion.

As we mentioned from the top, it's going to be interesting to see what the Jackets decide to do this summer, with the new GM coming in. The only thing I'm really sure about: change is coming.

Does that mean a big ticket free agent? Probably not. But, we can always hope.