After the trade deadline came and went two prominent members of the Columbus Blue Jackets were traded away leading many to believe the team was on the cusp of a full-blown rebuild. Nick Foligno, Blue Jackets long time captain and long time defensemen David Savard were traded to Toronto and Tampa Bay for first round draft picks. Yet, Blue Jackets General Manger, Jarmo Kekalainen insists the organization is going to reload.
With the return of Columbus Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations, John Davidson yesterday and the verbiage he used during his press conference it sounded more like a rebuild is on the horizon.
The 2020-21 NHL season was a disappointment for the Blue Jackets who saw the teams streak of four playoff runs end. Now are armed with 3 first round draft picks. One of those picks could be in the top 5 .
For the Blue Jackets to avoid a rebuild a few things will need to be addressed. The team needs a top line center. They also need to find out if defensemen Andrew Peeke is the long-term solution to replace David Savard.
Seth Jones needs a new contract and has told the team he is taking some time before deciding if he wants to commit to the Blue Jackets. Having John Davidson back in the fold could help sway Jones to stay, if the right head coach is brought in and they offer him the captaincy.
Getting back to the draft picks. 3 first round picks are nice. However, as noted the team is in desperate need of a top line center. They could offer the lower of the first round picks and goalie Joonas Koprisalo and get themselves a top center.
If that happens then it is indeed a reload. Yesterday Davidson said something interesting he stated that it was a great asset to have 3 first round picks. That it gives the Blue Jackets “something to work with.”
After the conclusion of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, more dominoes should fall. Namely a head coach and the Jones contract situation. Then the reload-rebuild picture should clear up.