Everyone expected that the Blue Jackets would probably move a defenseman sooner or later - with a blueline that already included James Wisniewski, Dalton Prout, Jack Johnson, Jordan Leopold, Ryan Murray, Fedor Tyutin, and David Savard, there wasn't much room for guys like Cody Goloubef or Tim Erixon to make an impact - something that got even more complicated with the acquisition of Kevin Connaughton.
Even with all the injuries this season, the defense has been a position of relative strength, and the news that both Tyutin and Goloubef could return this week made it clear that something had to give.
It seems that something was Tim Erixon, who now finds himself on the way to Chicago, while the Jackets pick up the somewhat disgruntled Jeremy Morin in a straight up trade.
Morin was a 2009 second round pick, 45th overall, who made news recently by asking the team to play him or trade him - looks like they chose the latter.
Morin has bounced pretty heavily between Rockford of the AHL and the big club, but while in the AHL he's produced at a near point a game pace over the last two seasons, while in Chicago he was mostly put into an energy line / checking role. Still, he had 5 goals and six assists in 24 games last season, and has the ability to put up a bunch of PIMs as well.
A lot of the vibe on twitter this morning is concern that the team made another Tropp / Boll type pickup, but I'm a little more optimistic - even back to his draft year, Morin got praise for his sniping shot and offensive ability. Cross your fingers, but this might be a very similar move to the acquisition of Mark Letestu - taking a guy who had been unable to play to in the right role because of the depth of his original team. I wouldn't be shocked at all to see Morin given the opportunity to play in the top six.
The team reports that Morin is on the way to Columbus today, and will practice with the team on Monday. Don't be shocked if we see him inserted into the lineup against Detroit.