Mid Summer Report: Columbus Blue Jackets

download (24)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Columbus Blue Jackets

Last Season’s Finish:  34-40-8, 76 pts, 8th in the Metropolitan Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Sam Gagner (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Kerby Rychel (Toronto)
  • D Justin Falk (Buffalo)
  • D Fydor Tyutin (Colorado)
  • F Jared Boll (Anaheim)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • D Cody Goloubef
  • D Zach Werenski
  • D Gabriel Carlsson

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $69,182,141
  • Current salary cap space: $3,817,859

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Brandon Saad, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, David Clarkson, Scott Hartnell, Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner, Matt Calvert, Gregory Campbell, William Karlsson, Alexander Wennberg, Sam Gagner
Defensemen
Seth Jones, Jack Johnson, David Savard, Ryan Murray, Dalton Prout, Cody Goloubef
Goalies
Sergei Bobrovski, Curtis McElhinney

 

Outlook:
Last season, Columbus was expected to be a good team, possibly one that could finally have some success in the playoffs.  But, the wheels fell off the bus right away, as they lost their first 8 games of the season.  They fired head coach Todd Richards after game 7, and hired coach John Tortorella.  They continued to be inconsistent and streaky the rest of the season.  This season, the Tortorella system should be well known by the players.  They didn’t make many changes to the roster in the off season, and they have several players under 25 who are all one year wiser.  If this team is capable of putting together a strong season, this is the year.