It’s the time of year where we get a little spicy at The Cannon and give our General Manager muscles a work out. We’ve spent the week proposing different trades the Columbus Blue Jackets can make during the offseason.
Winnipeg Jets Receive:
Ryan Murray, Riley Nash, Maxime Fortier, Michael Prapavessis, 2022 7th round pick, and the right to Daniel Zaar
Columbus Blue Jackets receive:
Dustin Byfuglien, Kyle Connor, Jack Roslovic, and 2020 2nd round pick
In order to make room for Dustin Byfuglien’s 7.6 million dollar contract I suggest buying out Brandon Dubinsky’s 5.85 million dollar contract. The Jackets will still be on the hook for 1.95 million. However, with Jack Roslovic, Kyle Connor, and a slew of talented young prospects in the pool, the Jackets won’t really have a spot for Dubinsky on the team.
Breaking Down the Trade
I’m sure you’re wondering why I have the Blue Jackets giving up quite a bit for Byfuglien, Connor, and Roslovic. Currently the Jets have a cap hit of almost 59 million. Which doesn’t seem so bad until you realize they only have 15 players on their roster. So, I had to make this trade benefit the Jets almost as much as it benefits the Jackets. The Jets will receive an extra player, possibly two, with this proposed trade. Plus, they gain a bit of cap space.
Byfuglien has a modified no trade contract complete with a no trade list of 14 teams. I do not know who is on that list but I’m holding out hope Columbus is not one of them. In the off chance Byfuglien is willing to play in Columbus, I offered up Murray as a replacement.
The Jackets can’t really afford to lose talented defenders right now. While Murray is one of the better defencemen on the team, he is perpetually hurt. It’s hard to build a team around a solid player who cannot seem to stay healthy. My thought is maybe the Jets will be able to find a way to keep Murray healthy for an entire season. Occasionally a change of team paired with new trainers, coaches, and environment helps a player.
Plus, replacing Murray with Byfuglien adds scoring depth to the Jackets. Scoring shouldn’t be the main job of a defender. However, you can’t deny how talented Byfuglien is at setting up plays and getting points on the board. Only two times in the past 9 season, he finished below 45 points. Placing him on the first or second pairing with David Savard would be best. The combination of speed, passion, and skill would be electric.
Kyle Connor is a no brainer to try and get. In fact, I hope the Jackets are trying to find a way to trade for him after he signs a contract with the Jets. OR even better, I hope they are in talks with him right now to sign a contract with the Jackets. Then they wouldn’t have to lose much for a young guy on the verge of being the next superstar goal scorer.
Without Artemi Panarin, many have questioned if Cam Atkinson can keep up the level of play he had while Panarin was in Columbus. Honestly, Atkinson is good whether or not Panarin is on a line with him. Connor will only help Atkinson and together they can elevate one another to the next level.
Despite not having a lot of points, Jack Roslovic is quite the solid player. He knows the right things to do and has a moldable mind. Whatever Coach Tortorella throws Roslovics way, he will work hard at perfecting. Plus, Roslovic is the kind of player who could help out the Cleveland Monsters if things are shaky for him up in Columbus.
Also, could you imagine how insane Nationwide Arena would be if Kole Sherwood is called up and is reunited with Roslovic for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Two Columbus boys on the ice at the same time? The roof would blow off the building.
I threw in Riley Nash because he could help the Jets fill the space Roslovic leaves behind.
After watching Maxime Fortier and Michael Prapavessis play in Cleveland this past season, I don’t feel as though they are the best fit for the organization as a whole. There is some disconnect with them and some of the players on the team. Communication between teammates was virtually non existent.
They would do better in an organization where the chance of moving up is far greater than Columbus/Cleveland. They both have beneficial skills that need to be developed a little bit more. Mark Letestu worked very well with both Fortier and Prapavessis. In fact, Letestu was great with pretty much everyone on the Monsters. So, bring them to Winnipeg where Letestu is currently located could prove beneficial for both the Jets organization and Fortier/Prapavessis.
My thoughts on trading the rights to Zaar is maybe a return to North American hockey could happen knowing he has an actual shot at cracking the NHL roster.
Where does this trade leave the cap?
Before knowing how much Connor would make, the cap for the Jackets would sit at almost 62.98 million for 20 players on the roster. Which would give the Jackets around 18.5 to play with before the season starts.
This trade is a
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