Three Defensemen the Columbus Blue Jackets Could Look to Trade Before the Deadline

The Jackets have a log jam on the blue line. With several players who don't fit into the long-term plans, they should look to clear that log jam up before the March 8th trading deadline.

Seattle Kraken v Columbus Blue Jackets
Seattle Kraken v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages
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This list starts with the team needing to patch up a mistake from last summer. They need to recoup assets and move on from defenseman Ivan Provorov. It just hasn't worked.

It's not that Provorov has been a bad player for the Blue Jackets - at least, not if you're looking solely at offensive numbers. He has 4 goals and 19 assists (23 points) while playing in all 45 games for the Jackets this season.

The issue is, he's the wrong type of defenseman altogether. Provorov plays the game like a less productive Zach Werenski; wanting the puck on his stick when the play is headed up the ice. He can generate offense, and has done a nice job this season in that regard.

Dec 30, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) looks to
Dec 30, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) looks to / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Defensively, I don't think it's out of line to say that Provorov has been a mess. He often looks disengaged in his own end, coasting with his stick position making no sense. He's not physical, he doesn't really block shots or generate takeaways. He's just ... taking up space out there.

If the plan here was to pick up a player who can stay healthy and fill Zach Werenski's void when he (inevitably) gets injured, I get it. But then, why didn't the team go out and acquire a less expensive option to do that? Someone like, oh, I don't know, Jake Bean?

They needed to add defensemen who could defend, and Provorov is the antithesis of that. How he survived a full season under John Tortorella while playing defense as he does, is baffling to me.

All of that said, he does still have a lot of value. A contending team that needs a quarterback for their second power-play might show interest here - especially if they can shelter him defensively.

I doubt they can recoup both the first and second round picks they gave up for him. But, I don't think it's impossible that they could get one high pick and another piece in return. In the end, this acquisition was a gaffe that really makes no sense for this team.

If the team can't trade Ivan Provorov at the deadline, it's not the end of the world. He's still signed for one more season - but it's obvious that they'll need to move on at some point. Better soon, rather than later.