There are angry fans, there are puzzled fans, there are fans who understand. The Columbus Blue Jackets, who Friday afternoon signed Patrik Laine to a 4 year $34.8 million extension, was on the clock to make a deal and make it fast. The Blue Jackets had to get to a point where they would be cap compliant after signing free agent Johnny Gaudreau and Laine. The odd man out turned out to be Oliver Bjorkstand who will now call Seattle home as he will play for the Kraken.
After news broke about the Laine extension, I took to social media and gave a short list (4 players) who due to their contracts I thought would be moved to get the Blue Jackets under the salary cap. I listed Bjorkstrand as one of those players (the other players listed are irrelevant as they did not get traded.)
Social media saw an uptick in Blue Jacket posts. No matter if fans were, angry, puzzled or understanding, one thing shined through……. they are going to miss Oliver Bjorkstrand who had been drafted by the team developed by the team and became a top six forward on the team. Bjorkstrand spent 9 years in the Blue Jackets organization.
It looks and feels like the Blue Jackets front office rushed to make the move as the team received a 3rd and 4th round draft pick for Bjorkstrand. While understanding this was a salary dump by the Blue Jackets it feels like the return should have been a bit more.
There really is no positive spin that will appease the Columbus Blue Jackets 5th line (fan base.) I do believe that by trading Oliver Bjorkstrand the door is now open for Krill Marchenko, who is the Blue Jackets #2 ranked prospect if he has a strong training camp to slide into a starting right wing (RW) role on the team.
In the end something had to give. In these situations the GM makes calls and does a lot of busy work. It could very well be that the 3rd and 4th round draft picks was the best return the organization could get.
No matter what, the Columbus Blue Jackets are in very good shape heading into training camp and the regular season. As for Oliver Bjorkstrand, Seattle please take good care of him. He is a good player on and off the ice.
Blue Jackets fans, leave a comment, give us your thoughts or simply vent, if you like.