Answering Blue Jackets’ Fans Trade Deadline Questions

We are near the end of the road to the NHL’s Trade Deadline, finally.

In just a matter of three days, teams will need to decide if they want to make additional moves. They have until 3 P.M. eastern on Monday to complete a trade.

For the last few weeks here at the Hockey Writers, we’ve explored different elements of the Columbus Blue Jackets and how they might handle their business. In case you missed any of the previous parts, you can catch up below.

It’s time to put a wrap on the trade-deadline series. We now turn it over to you, the fan. I went out to Twitter and asked fans to post their Blue Jackets’ related questions about the trade deadline. Let’s attempt to put some answers to these questions.

A couple of ground rules before we begin. First, if I don’t know something (which will happen a lot), I will say as much. I don’t have a crystal ball and Blue Jackets management sure as heck isn’t feeding me information. We will try to formulate answers and my opinions based on what we know. Second, I will try to have some fun with this. Most answers will be serious but I will sprinkle in some laughs. We all need to laugh anyway, right?

Third and most importantly, I hope you can come away with this with a better sense of what the Blue Jackets might be thinking in certain circumstances. They are going to have some decisions to make that can and will alter their season.

Now that we got the rules out of the way, let’s dive right into the questions.

Columbus Blue Jackets Jarmo Kekalainen
What does Jarmo Kekalainen have up his sleeve? (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Gary Wiepert)

Answering Fan Questions

Question: Has the Metro after all its success become the Meh-tro in the last few weeks? A Penguins team that’s punched above its weight all season is in first all of a sudden. -Jason R

Answer: I see what Jason did with his question here. Meh-tro. Anyways, I think I see where he’s trying to go. The Penguins, who have been ravaged all season with injuries, now find themselves leading the division. With all the talk about how crazy good the Metro is, how can a team with all these injuries be leading?

It’s simple really. The Penguins are really good. Yes they have been injured no question. But when you have some of the best players on the planet, it eases the burden some. What’s impressive about them is that no matter who comes up, they make an impact. Who has heard of John Marino nationally before this season? Very few.

The Penguins deserve being in first place. They’re only going to get healthier. Plus they made a shrewd trade by acquiring Jason Zucker. This is a Stanley Cup contender in every sense.

Now how does this relate to the deadline you might ask? Well, the Blue Jackets are right on the cusp of the playoff cutoff because there are six Metro teams at 72 points or more. That’s insane. It begs the question do the Blue Jackets need to make a move to keep up? The only thing I can say for certain is that they’re looking and talking to other teams. Whether they find a deal that makes sense is a different animal. In my mind, if they hope to stay in this race, they likely need to do something up front. Scoring has been an issue all season and it’s catching up to them at the worst time.

From here on out, the Metro will now be referred to as the Metrohellitan. It’s that good.

Question: Do you think there is any merit in treating this year as a step back and selling a player or two and waiting to reload until they are healthy in the summer? -Jay Alexanders

Answer: I like this question. If there is anything this trade deadline will show us, it will show us how management views the current setup of the team. However I am not sure they would sell just to sell.

The Blue Jackets are even in points for a playoff spot (as of Thursday.) They want to add if they can but they won’t overspend by any means. With all that said, one player that is interesting is Josh Anderson.

There are rumors that he might be available. Unless the Blue Jackets are blown away, I don’t see a trade here. They love the player and the kind of game he plays. But we have to acknowledge that if someone offers a first and a prospect close to NHL ready, I think there has to be some consideration. In this case, you’re selling to a point but still helping your club now. That’s the kind of deal I think it would take for something like that to happen.

So while many thought this year would be a step back, the team has played very well and put themselves in the playoff conversation. That’s why I don’t see a pure selloff but a hockey deal or two is certainly in play.

Question: We’ve already seen a strong market for defensemen with Alec Martinez/Brendan Dillon. Do you dangle David Savard to a west coast team for picks? -DrewHausen

Answer: In this scenario, absolutely not. Given the injuries especially to Seth Jones, Savard is almost untouchable. It would take a true impact forward for them to consider this move. It goes back to what we spoke on above about selloffs.

Before the Jones injury, I thought the Blue Jackets would look at a Kasperi Kapanen type player. That’s a deal that would involve Savard. But now, I think the Blue Jackets are open to defensive help as well. Elliotte Friedman mentioned in his latest 31 Thoughts podcast that the Blue Jackets may have explored Martinez. We’ve been focused on forwards but with Jones potentially out the rest of the regular season and the team playing Scott Harrington and Andrew Peeke as the third pairing, they are open to acquiring a depth defenseman to help stabilize the situation. As for Savard, he’s staying put in my mind.

Columbus Blue Jackets David Savard
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard is likely staying put. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Question: Is Josh Anderson’s lengthy injury due to a longer than expected recovery or could it be a tactical move by his agent? -Ryan Carroll

Answer: The Anderson injury situation is the $1 million question these days. NHL teams would love to know if he’s healthy.

Let’s do a quick reset. The Blue Jackets announced Anderson was expected to miss 4-6 weeks. As of this writing, he’s been out over nine weeks. That’s a clear indication the recovery is taking longer than expected. If it’s his shoulder, that’s a tricky situation. You can feel good one day but be in severe pain the next. It can also impact the way you play the game especially in the case of Anderson.

So clearly the injury is a real and big thing. Is this somehow tactical so he doesn’t get traded? My gut says no, but only the agent really knows the answer to that. I don’t see why they would want to do that anyway. It’s in Anderson’s best interest to play when ready. The fact he isn’t playing to me indicates the severity of his injury.

Anderson has been skating some of late but hasn’t taken contact yet. That indicates his return most likely comes after the deadline since there’s just one more game until the stroke of 3 P.M.

It’s important to note that I don’t believe the team is actively trying to trade Anderson. They love him and his skill set. But if someone makes a huge offer, they’ll think about it. Stay tuned here. We might not know everything so we’ll see where things go.

Question: If Jarmo makes a move, what position do you think he will go after? -Frederick S Cairo II

Answer: If I was asked this in January, it’s a forward hands down. Now? I think any skater at a reasonable cost is in play. Injuries can change the fortunes in a hurry. At this point, anyone that helps the team now and in the future (cliche I know) will be considered. But we can’t rule out defensemen like we did earlier in the season. If nothing else, these players deserve a chance to go after it. Management should reward them.

Question: What are the odds that the Blue Jackets make no significant moves at the deadline? My feeling is pretty high right now? -Justin Needham

Answer: So after all the words from above, I have to put a number to this. Thanks Justin. Thanks a lot pal. I kid. I kid.

Considering they are talking and are open to more than just a forward, there is a chance of a move, but to deem it significant I think I agree with Justin. The chances of no significant moves feels like 80-90% for me. The Blue Jackets aren’t giving up their first. It would have to be a pure hockey trade for it to be significant.

Now if we are talking at least one move made, I put that at 90%. I expect something. I just wouldn’t expect huge fireworks. But peeking ahead to the offseason, don’t be surprised if a bigger move happens there. Combine cap space and the draft and you have options.

Ok time for one last question. What does this all have to do with the Leafs? The CBJ Alliance came through in the clutch with a Leafs question.

Question: Would Toronto be willing to part with John Tavares given their ugly cap situation? And what would CBJ have to give up?

Answer: There it is. I was wondering when we would get this sort of question. The premise is spot on but John Tavares though? I do see where they’re going here.

Toronto Maple Leafs John Tavares
The Leafs do need cap space but John Tavares isn’t going anywhere. Sorry. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Tavares isn’t going anywhere. The Leafs wouldn’t have taken the time to pursue him just to trade him at the deadline or anytime. But I do like the cap part of this question. That’s why Toronto is fascinating at the moment on the playoff fringe. They are strapped and have to be creative. They did just lose Andreas Johnsson to knee surgery. That’s why Kapanen has been rumored for a while for cap space purposes among other things.

But I will answer the question. The Leafs would want Seth Jones and I don’t see the Blue Jackets parting with him. Werenski plus would be discussed but I don’t see this ever coming close to reality.

Thank you to all who submitted a question. The deadline is right around the corner. Can the Blue Jackets find a deal? The clock is ticking.

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