Columbus Blue Jackets offseason punch list: what's in store for the new GM?

The Blue Jackets are entering a pivotal offseason. They could either take more steps towards contention; or continue to load up for a (hopefully) brighter future.

Columbus Blue Jackets Media Day
Columbus Blue Jackets Media Day / Jason Mowry/GettyImages
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Between Columbus and Cleveland, the organization has 14 restricted free agents this summer.

Step 3: What to do with this team's bevy of restricted free agents.

Two of the decisions that need to be made here will not move the needle for the Jackets too much. Marcus Bjork and Josh Dunne jump off the page as guys who are probably going to be career AHL players. Their situations don't impact the Jackets much, if at all.

The other 12 guys are a mixed bag. First, we have the depth guys: Jake Christiansen, Nick Blankenburg and Carson Meyer. Hanging on to all three of these guys makes sense, even if it's just for organizational depth. Or, the team could turn its attention towards more of their prospects filling out these jobs.

Then, there are two players who are fringe prospects: Tyler Angle and Jet Greaves. I expect both to be extended and return to Cleveland next year for continued development. Greaves has an outside shot to be the backup goalie in Columbus next year.

Next, we have six(!) players who spent the bulk of their season in Columbus, and will need new contracts. Jake Bean, Kent Johnson, Yegor Chinakhov, Cole Sillinger, Kirill Marchenko, and Alexandre Texier.

I do think it's possible that not all of these players return. In fact, I think it's likely that the team will look to move one or even two of them for help elsewhere (more on that later). Or, maybe they just "trim the fat", so to speak. Either way, decisions need to be made here.

Finally, what do they do with Alexander Nylander? He's the last RFA that needs to be decided upon. Do they believe his hot start with the Jackets can carry over to a brighter future? Or, do they see it as just a mirage and look to move on?

It's possible that, if they see him as part of the future here, his presence could push them to move someone else. Which takes us to the final (most important?) task for the new GM.