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All The Right Moves…at the Trade Deadline

Anthony Perkins Avatar

written by: Golden Kuraly

The 2023-2024 NHL trade deadline has come and gone. We’ve taken the weekend to process all the players that have been bartered and all the ones that didn’t come to fruition. As the Admin for the Columbus Blue Jackets, #GoldenKuraly, I was both anxious and worried about this deadline. GM Jarmo Kekalainen was relieved of his GM duties last month, and interim GM John Davidson (JD) told fans, not to expect any noise from the Jackets at the deadline.

Then, about a week before the deadline, JD moved struggling Forward to the Pittsburgh Penguins for another Forward who has yet to blossom in the league, Alex Nylander. Nylander and a conditional 6th round pick in the 2026 draft came to the Jackets. The condition being, if Bemstrom scores at least 6 goals for the Penguins, the 6th round pick would become a 3rd round pick. Initially, I was worried about this swap and thought it was just going to be a space clearing move, since unlike Bemstrom, Nylander is able to be sent down to the AHL.

Much to everyone’s surprise and excitement, Nylander has shown great promise on the Sillinger Line with Alexander Texier. In 8 games played, he has 5 goals, including his first career hat trick and 2 assists with a +3 rating. Bemstrom on the other hand, has played 9 games, and has a goal and an assist with a -4 rating.

                As it stands, right now, it looks like our third-round pick maybe in jeopardy of remaining a 6th round pick. Have no fear though Fifth Line, Nylander seems to be destined for Union Blue.

The second trade that was made was early into deadline day. The Blue Jackets dealt legendary “Future Considerations” to the St. Louis Blues for Journeyman Goalie, Malcolm Subban. Subban was immediately assigned to AHL Cleveland Monsters. Initially, the speculation was with this deal in place it was all but a done deal that Elvis’s time in Columbus was over, but it quickly became apparent that this was nothing more than a depth trade, as Cleveland is gearing up for a Calder Cup run.

**FUN FACT**  With Malcolm Subban backing up Starter Jet Greaves, Cleveland is the first AHL team to have a goalie tandem where both goalies are black. If both were to get called up to the Jackets at the same time, the same would hold true on the NHL level. #HockeyISforEveryone

The third trade found Defenseman Andrew Peeke finding a new blueline to defend, in Boston of all places. In return, the Blue Jackets received AHL Defenseman Jakub Zboril and a 2027 3rd Round pick. This move was genius in my mind. This frees up some of the logjam at the Blue Line sending a blue liner with two years left on his contract who can’t be sent down without clearing waivers in exchange for a blue liner with an expiring contract who is in the AHL already. Not only did this move clear cap space for next season, but it also made room for a young defenseman to come up next season.

The fourth and final trade is the toughest to talk about for me. Ever since I found out we received Jack Roslovic as part of the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade, I was excited. What is more exciting than a kid who grew up in Columbus, coming to play for his hometown team? Unfortunately, Jack was consistently, inconsistent. I don’t feel like in his years here he really lived up to his full potential, even though he was playing on the top line, and playing well. Jack Roslovic was the only unrestricted free agent on the Jackets roster, and he likely wasn’t going to be re-signed due to the inconsistency that I touched on. So, Columbus made a deal with the New York Rangers, sending Roslovic to the Big Apple for a conditional 4th round pick. The condition being that the Rangers make the Cup Finals, AND Jackie plays in 50% of the playoff games.

I will miss Jack. He was always smiling, and he truly loved this city like it was home, because well, it is. I hope Jack blossoms in New York, and can find solid ground to land on once Free Agency opens up in July.

Overall, I am happy with the moves JD made at this trade deadline. He made all the necessary moves that he needed to. He helped the goalie situation, in case Elvis or Tarasov get injured in this last month, we have a solid goalie to call-up. He addressed the logjam at the blue line and shed some cap. And he found a home for Jack Roslovic, so he isn’t walking away from this team for nothing. (The Jackets definitely won the PLD trade, even with all of Laine’s issues.)

Jack Roslovic’s Final Goal as a Blue Jacket

The next few months are going to be interesting finding the team’s next GM, the on-ice product is finding ways to win tough games, Pascal Vincent seems to be growing into a better coach. The future of this team isn’t as gloom and doom as some may lead you to believe.


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One response to “All The Right Moves…at the Trade Deadline”

  1. Steven Mcmanus Avatar

    Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the challenges.
    It was really informative. Your site is very useful.
    Thanks for sharing!

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