Keep your eyes peeled for Restricted Free Agents

If things weren't interesting enough already, a list of restricted free agents that have not been tendered qualifying offers will now become unrestricted free agents tomorrow. For the Blue Jackets, there will likely be more than a few players they're keeping an eye on.

Dan Fritsche, Center/Wing

I think the only reason Fritsche was included in the deal that sent Zherdev to the New York Rangers for Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman was because he expected too much from Columbus. He wanted a bigger paycheck and a bigger role. He's a solid 3rd/4th liner, but he expected top 6 minutes. After being scratched in much of his time with the Rangers and then being traded to the Minnesota Wild, I think his expectations might be back in check. He's an Ohio boy and a fierce competitor. We've all missed Danny to some extent since he left. I could really see some interest here.

  • Displays plenty of two-way potential. Owns grit and determination, excellent skating ability and a wealth of versatility.
  • Shoulder problems have dogged him. As an Ohio native, expectations were unrealistic with his first NHL organization, the Blue Jackets--another factor that may have hampered his long-term development.
Career Potential
  • Two-way forward.

Marcel Goc, Center

Not a big scorer, his point totals have pretty much decreased each year, but I've always seen Goc as an effective player. He certainly still has a lot of upside.

  • Has outstanding speed and creative instincts in the offensive zone. Is a capable player in all game situations.
  • Must gain more strength in order to withstand the pounding of an 82-game schedule. Needs more time to fully develop his all-around game.
Career Potential
  • Second line center.

Erik Christensen, Center

It seems we've had some interest in Christensen since his days in Pittsburgh. He would be a solid option for the 4th line.

  • Owns a big shot and excellent offensive instincts. Knows where to go in order to find the back of the net, and is an emerging player without the puck.
  • Still needs to get stronger to be able to win more battles in the corners. Must improve in doing the little things that help win hockey games.
Career Potential
  • Inconsistent forward with great hands.

Fredrik Sjostrom, Wing

Another name to throw in the hat of "if we trade some forwards." He wouldn't see much ice time above the 4th line, but his NHL experience could make him more valuable in the line-up over an Alex Picard or Mike Blunden.

  • Has a terrific combination of speed, skill and defensive instincts. Is willing to take a hit in order to make a play.
  • Doesn't use his 6-1, 217-pound frame to his advantage nearly enough. Misses a ton of scoring chances due to questionable hands.
Career Potential
  • Third line winger.

And as mentioned earlier, Jiri Hudler is another RFA turning to free agency that could be an option, although he would be a bit more expensive and command a bigger role.

Also, The Dispatch reports on our own restricted free agents:

The following players were extended qualifying offers: LW Alexandre Picard, C Michael Blunden, D Marc Methot, D Jonathan Sigalet and G Dan LaCosta.

The following players were not: D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, C Jiri Novotny, D Kyle Wharton, D Trevor Hendrikx, F Petr Pohl, F John Vigilante and D Jon Landry.

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