Central Focus: Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets made headlines in Ohio as they snatched up Jeff Carter from the Philadelphia Flyers. They dealt away Jabuk Voracek and a 1st round pick (8th overall - Sean Couturier) to get Carter, which seems like a potentially steep price. Carter has been injured often, but when he's healthy, he's a complete sniper. This might be what Rick Nash needs to help the jackets into the playoffs.

 

Departures

 
PLAYER 2011-12 Team
Andrew Murray, C San Jose
Sami Lepisto, D Chicago
Mike Commodore, D Detroit
Jan Hejda, D Colorado
Scottie Upshall, RW Florida
Mathieu Garon, G Tampa Bay
Jakub Voracek, RW Philadelphia
Craig Rivet, D Free Agent
Ethan Moreau, LW Free Agent
Anton Stralman, D Free Agent
Chris Clark, LW Free Agent

 

 

Arrivals

 
PLAYER FROM
Jeff Carter, C Philadelphia
Vinny Prospal, LW New York R
Radek Martinek, D New York I
Aaron Johnson, D Nashville
Curtis Sanford, G Montreal
James Wisniewski, D Montreal
Cody Bass, C Ottawa

 

Wisniewski is probably the key signing, even over Carter. It gives the Jackets a legitimate top 2 defenceman (while some Habs fans might disagree). Based on what the jackets had, this is a huge upgrade. The only problem is they have no depth at all. Prospal will fit nicely into Huselius' spot until he returns from a torn pectoral muscle tear. Martinek was a key feature on Long Island, and will get a chance to play top 4 minutes with Columbus.

 

 

Blue Jackets Forwards

 
Rick Nash Jeff Carter Kristian Huselius*
Vinny Prospal Antoine Vermette R.J. Umberger
Matt Calvert Derick Brassard Jared Boll
Derek Dorsett Ryan Johansen Samuel Pahlsson
Derek MacKenize Cody Bass  

*Huselius is out indefinitely (IR)

 

Blue Jackets Defensemen

 
James Wisniewski Fedor Tyutin
Grant Clitsome Marc Methot
Kris Russell Radek Martinek
John Moore Aaron Johnson

 

 

Blue Jackets Goaltenders

 
Steve Mason
Curtis Sanford
Mark Dekanich

 

New Acquisition

Expect Steve Mason to crank out more starts, which might be what he needs. After winning the Calder a few years ago, Mason hasn't really been the same. He split time with Garon, but with Garon gone to Tampa and the likely backup (Sanford or Dekanich) likely to be only a once every 6-7 starts type goalie. In all likelihood, the Blue Jackets will need another year of rebuilding to get back to the playoffs. Carter and Wisniewski are a nice step, but it won't be enough. They are good enough to beat the Blues in the Central, but won't have enough to beat out Detroit, Chicago or Nashville.

Kyle Busch

www.twitter.com/KyleBusch11