Could the next GM of the Blue Jackets really look to move Johnny Gaudreau?

With the Blue Jackets continuing to struggle through a rebuild, rumors are popping up that the incoming GM could explore a Johnny Gaudreau trade. Is that possible?

Columbus Blue Jackets v Montreal Canadiens
Columbus Blue Jackets v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Gaudreau signed with the Jackets knowing that times would be tough here for a while. They have - but how much worse would it be without him?

Since signing with the Blue Jackets, Johnny Gaudreau has 32 goals and 96 assists for 128 points in 152 games.

The next most productive player on the roster in that time? Boone Jenner, with exactly 80 points. He's been Gaudreau's center full-time, whenever he's been healthy.

The Jackets have been so mired in their rebuild, that the right wing on this line has been guys like Jack Roslovic, Yegor Chinakhov, Kirill Marchenko, Justin Danforth, Patrik Laine ... really, I could go on all day. The team just doesn't have another top line winger right now.

This perceived drop in production makes sense when you realize that he doesn't have a 40-goal scoring power forward flanking him on the other side. Nor does he have a legitimate top-two line center to play with (sorry Boone).

He's picked up 96 assists on a team who hasn't had a single player reach 30 goals in his time here. Again, Boone is good - but not great - in that department (he scored 26 last year, 22 so far this year).

In response to the question about Johnny's production drop, I have to ask: Should we really have been expecting him to put up 100+ points with this team?

I don't think so. He doesn't have much (any) help. The team's next best forward (Laine) has played 73 games combined over the last two seasons.

There's one more hurdle that keeps getting glossed over here as well. Johnny's contract. I have a much different perspective than the one the rumor mills keep churning out.