How much cap space will the Blue Jackets have for the 2024 offseason?

The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the NHL’s latest rebuilding projects, but perhaps a simple lineup retooling can fix this team in 2024-25.
Columbus Blue Jackets v Arizona Coyotes
Columbus Blue Jackets v Arizona Coyotes / Zac BonDurant/GettyImages

The Columbus Blue Jackets are due for a rebuild, or at least that’s what the state of this franchise resembles. Columbus has been the worst team in the NHL’s Eastern Conference for most of the 2023-24 season, and they were also one of the first teams eliminated from playoff contention. 

But everything may not be as bad as it may seem in the Buckeye State, as few teams sustained more injuries and misfortune than Columbus. This is a team that, despite firing their general manager and foreshadowing a potential overhaul, has a lot of restricted free agents due for extensions this offseason, and that lays the groundwork for a young core. 

Further, cornerstones like Johnny Gaudreau, if he sticks around with the next regime, and Boone Jenner, plus Zachary Werenski and Damon Severson, may also help keep the foundation intact. 

And let’s not forget about a pair of youngsters like Daniil Tarasov and Adam Fantilli. Tarasov has looked great in the net lately, and Fantilli looked like he would be right up there with Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard for Calder Trophy contention before his injury. 

Blue Jackets may need an upgrade, not a rebuild, in the 2024 offseason

Depending on what the new general manager does will determine the immediate future of the Blue Jackets. On paper, the Jackets are young, and they have some serious cornerstones should they elect to keep everyone. This could make them a sneaky good place for unrestricted free agents to land, and they have the cap space to sign a player or two. 

Currently, Columbus is in seventh with roughly $25.349 million in cap space, and they only need to sell the long-term plan to players who will be looking for work this summer if they decide to go that route.

If the Blue Jackets stay healthy next season and if they bring back a core that should keep growing as a unit, they will eventually be tough to beat next season. The new front office only needs to sell that to potential incoming players, and things will be looking up in Cap City.