With just over a week left in the training camp schedule (and just under two weeks before the Blue Jackets take on the Sabres in Buffalo to kick off the 2014-2015 season), it's traditional to pull out the crystal ball and try to see what the team's roster is going to look like.
This year, that task has been made a lot more complex by the continued absence of Nathan Horton, Ryan Johansen, and Ryan Murray.
While Johansen could, in theory, return at any time once both sides finally agree to a contract, the other two are a bit more vague. Recent news about Horton's back problems indicate that it could be weeks - perhaps months - before we see him on the ice again, while Murray is "taking it slow" after having his knee scoped again during the summer. The good news is that Murray is skating on his own again, so hopefully we'll see him back in battery sooner than later.
Despite that silver lining to the cloud, "sooner than later" is still not a real timetable, and the team is going to need to trim this roster down.
At this point, we have to assume that all three will be unavailable for that first weekend of game action, if not longer. So what might that look like, and who might be taking advantage of the unexpected opportunity?
Scott Hartnell - Brandon Dubinsky - Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert - Boone Jenner - Alexander Wennberg
Brian Gibbons - Artem Anisimov - Cam Atkinson
Simon Hjalmarsson - Mark Letestu - Jared Boll
Last but (hopefully) not least there's Jared Boll. Love him or hate him, he seems to be making an effort to prove that he can be an effective contributor, and it seems likely that he'll be given the chance to prove it, though I wouldn't be shocked if he rotates in and out of the press box, particularly if certain players sign deals and / or get healthier.