Season Review Offseason Report and Opening Night Lineup Projection

Created by: Trevor31lv
Initial Creation Date: Aug 22, 2020
Published: Aug 23, 2020 at 12:19
Team: 2020-21 Columbus Blue Jackets
Legend
Lefthanded
Original Team
Righthanded
Position
No Move/Trade Clause
Expiry Status
Term Remaining
Edmonton Oilers
McDavid, Connor
$12,500,000
C
NMC
UFA - 5
Team Explanation
After all the losses in FA (as expected), many pegged this team as a bottom feeder coming into the year. I was optimistic about the goaltending duo coming in and had complete faith in the blue line. My concern was with the goal scoring. Even through my optimism, my expectations were exceeded. I was expecting an 80-90 point season that would see a lot of the young pieces grow. The season was mostly what I expected, apart from the goaltending being slightly better and the team finishing a bit higher in the standings (despite leading the league in man games lost due to injury).

As a fan, I’m very satisfied with the season as a whole. The team showed it could overcome the FA losses and with how young the team is and how many rookies played, the team could improve from inside a lot over by next season. Torts made it very clear in his year end interview though: it’s time for this team to take the next step. Now, I’m not going to be foolish and say they should join the company of top contenders next year, but with all the youth and expected improvement, from individual players, the team needs more than a 1st round playoff exit in 20-21. This franchise needs to evolve beyond the mentality of just being happy to finally get a playoff series victory.

GM: Jarmo proved himself more than trustworthy after going “all in” last year giving up a lot of prospects at the deadline for rentals. Columbus fans who have studied the team’s pipeline knew that they had the organizational depth to allow them to make such moves without crippling their future.A lot of rookies made their presence felt this year: Alexandre Texier, Vladislav Gavrokov, and Elvis Merzlikins were all large pieces in the team’s success. Emil Bemstrom, Kevin Stenlund, Andrew Peeke, and Liam Foudy (in the playoffs) all showed flashes that they could become important players for the team soon.

Coaching: Not gonna make this too long. While some may not like him, Torts brought a winning mentality to this team. He’s been huge for the success the past 4 years. Yes, he may wear his welcome out at some point, but that won’t be this year or next. The only big complaint with the coaching the the PP unit. Yes, the team doesn’t have elite offensive talent. It doesn’t matter. We aren’t asking for a top end PP, just league average. Other similar teams (Minnesota and Arizona) were able to manage it. If this team can develop a half decent PP, that alone would be a major boost.

Now into the players

Untouchables:
Pierre Luc Dubois
Oliver Bjorkstand
Liam Foudy
Seth Jones
Zach Werenski
Absolutely no chance any of these players get moved

Almost untouchable:
Alexandre Texier
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
The team would have to be absolutely blown away by an offer to trade away any of these guys.

Don't want to trade but will consider:
Emil Bemstrom
Josh Andersons, RFA Rights
David Savard
Bemstrom has a wicked shot and once he’s adapted to the North American game, he could be a real asset. The only reason he’s included here is for the potential of being a key piece in a deal for established goal scoring to help right now. Anderson is a player the team (and I) love. He brings a ton of help in all situations, the kind of player any team would love to have. Jarmo refused to move him at the deadline, so they clearly want to retain him. If he’s 100% healthy and ready to go, look for them to resign him, though the money and term could vary widely. If the team feels uneasy about his health or can’t create the space to resign him, they may trade his rights, but I’d be surprised if he’s not here next season. Savard is a terrific defender, and one of the heartbeats of the locker room. I’d absolutely hate to let him go, but the team has too much on the blue line and not enough up front. If they are unable to find a trade for one of the other blue liners, they may have to reluctantly take a good deal for Savard, as there will likely be many teams willing to make one.

On the trade block:
Alexander Wennberg
A spare D man (Likely Ryan Murray or Marcus Nutivaara)
Wennberg has a bad contract, no question about it. Ideally, the team could get a rebuilder (maybe Buffalo or Ottawa) to take him on for the upside. Maybe in a deal where they conditionally get a 2nd or 3rd if he puts up so many points. That’s not very likely though. In all likelihood, Wennberg is either bought out, or returns to the team for 1 more year and what would surely have to be his last chance. On the other hand, this team has no less than 8 NHL caliber D men. Whether it’s the previously mentioned Savard or someone else, it’s expected someone will be moved for scoring help or cap relief + draft picks in the coming months. Ideally for me, they move Murray since he has a sizable 1 year contract. Not very likely a team would want a 1 year rental of an injury prone player for over 4.5 mil though.

UFAs:
None of any importance - THANK GOD

RFAs:
Tier I (MUST RESIGN) - Pierre Luc Dubois, Vladislav Gavrikov
Tier II (Try to create cap room for) - Josh Anderson
Tier III (young futures and prospects) - Kevin Stenlund, Gabriel Carlsson, Kole Sherwood
*Others will be resigned, but not focused on here*

Needs:
Goal scoring help (the return of a healthy Josh Anderson plus development from young players may be enough, but adding at least a 15-20 goal scorer to play in the middle 6 would be really nice.
Maybe some mid round draft picks, seeing as the team has no 2nd this year or next.
That’s honestly about it, the blue line and goaltending is covered, so apart from a top end elite offensive talent (which is obviously not in the books) that’s really all we’re looking at.

Now, time for the predictions:
From this point forward, I’m taking out my opinion. Everything below (contracts, lineups, ect) is what I expect the team to choose to do this offseason. The only thing I’m leaving out is Mikhail Grigorenko (as I don’t know much about him), So I will just leave him on the roster as a scratch for the time being.
Also, FYI, I will be treating Josh Anderson as 100% healthy for this

Please, if there’s any feedback on this, let me hear it. Whether it’s about my assessment of the team, opinions on the roster, or disagreements in my predictions.
Cheers
Free Agent Signings
RFAYEARSCAP HIT
Dubois, Pierre-Luc8$8,000,000
Anderson, Josh4$4,250,000
Gavrikov, Vladislav5$3,750,000
Stenlund, Kevin3$1,250,000
Carlsson, Gabriel3$825,000
Sherwood, Kole2$825,000
Trades
CBJ
  1. 2020 3rd round pick (ANA)
ANA
  1. Nutivaara, Markus
Additional Details:
Just putting Anaheim as the team and the 3rd as the compensation as a placeholder here. Basically, I predict that a D man will be traded, but I don't want to go as far to say to which team and what compensation. My guess is Nutivaara will be the guy since the team doesn't want to move Savard and his contract/injury situation is much more appealing to other teams than Murray. I think a 3rd would be fair for Nuti. Once again though, this is more of a placeholder.
Buyouts
  • Scott Hartnell: $1,250,000
  • Alexander Wennberg: $441,667
Retained Salary Transactions
  • Nick Foligno: $2,750,000 (50%)
  • David Savard: $2,125,000 (50%)
DRAFT YEARROUND 1ROUND 2ROUND 3ROUND 4ROUND 5ROUND 6ROUND 7
2020
CBJ
ANA
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
2021
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
2022
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
CBJ
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES BONUSESCAP SPACE
23$81,500,000$76,604,167$0$1,225,000$4,895,833

Roster

Left WingCenterRight Wing
CBJ
Texier, Alexandre
$897,500
LW, C
RFA - 1
CBJ
Dubois, Pierre-Luc
$8,000,000
C
RFA - 2
CBJ
Bjorkstrand, Oliver
$2,500,000
RW, LW
UFA - 1
CBJ
Nyquist, Gustav
$5,500,000
RW, LW
UFA - 3
CBJ
Foudy, Liam
$894,167
C, LW, RW
RFA - 2
CBJ
Atkinson, Cam
$5,875,000
RW, LW
NTC
UFA - 5
CBJ
Foligno, Nick
$1,375,000
LW, C, RW
NMC NTC
UFA - 1
CBJ
Jenner, Boone
$3,750,000
C, LW
UFA - 2
CBJ
Anderson, Josh
$4,250,000
RW
UFA - 7
CBJ
Bemström, Emil
$925,000
C, RW
RFA - 2
CBJ
Nash, Riley
$2,750,000
C, RW
UFA - 1
CBJ
Stenlund, Kevin
$1,250,000
RW, C
RFA - 1
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
CBJ
Werenski, Zachary
$5,000,000
LD
RFA - 2
CBJ
Jones, Seth
$5,400,000
RD
NTC
UFA - 2
CBJ
Korpisalo, Joonas
$2,800,000
G
UFA - 2
CBJ
Gavrikov, Vladislav
$3,750,000
LD
UFA - 3
CBJ
Savard, David
$1,062,500
RD
UFA - 1
CBJ
Merzlikins, Elvis
$4,000,000
G
UFA - 2
CBJ
Murray, Ryan
$4,600,000
LD
UFA - 1
CBJ
Kukan, Dean
$1,650,000
RD
UFA - 2
ScratchesInjured Reserve (IR)Long Term IR (LTIR)
CBJ
Robinson, Eric
$975,000
LW
UFA - 2
CBJ
Dubinsky, Brandon
$5,850,000
C, LW
NMC NTC
UFA - 1
CBJ
Grigorenko, Mikhail
$1,200,000
C, LW
UFA - 1
CBJ
Harrington, Scott
$1,633,333
LD
UFA - 2

Special Teams

Power Play 1
Texier, A.
Dubois, P.
Nyquist, G.
Werenski, Z.
Atkinson, C.
Power Play 2
Texier, A.
Jenner, B.
Anderson, J.
Jones, S.
Bjorkstrand, O.
Penalty Kill 1
Jenner, B.
Atkinson, C.
Werenski, Z.
Jones, S.
Penalty Kill 2
Foligno, N.
Nyquist, G.
Gavrikov, V.
Savard, D.

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Top Comments

Aug 23, 2020 at 12:25
#1
Joined: Apr 2020
Posts: 2,830
Likes: 1,270
nice write up

i remember when we signed Grigorenko he spoke like he was promised a roster spot so id expect to see him draw in over Stenlund to start the year. also, ive seen CBJ fans say Bemstrom is untouchable but if he is the piece you move for a guy like Ehlers or Connor, you gotta do it
Trevor31lv liked this.
Aug 23, 2020 at 12:28
#2
CGY
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 4,450
Likes: 1,431
I’d be dang proud to be a CBJ fan. That team plays the right way and in general just plays a very hard game. I hope Jarmo can give them a little help because they deserve it
Trevor31lv, Alfie11 and Blueman96 liked this.
Aug 23, 2020 at 12:33
#3
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 3,884
Likes: 2,002
I don’t follow CBJ too closely but everyone has to respect that D corps (especially Jones+Werenski) and Torts has done a fantastic job of getting the best out of them. I’m personally a big fan of Bjorkstrand, Foudy, and Anderson for various reasons (Bjork cuz he was one of my fantasy pickup steals, Foudy I’ve liked since the world juniors, and I think Anderson plays a sought after style these days, which is why so many teams want him, I think he’d be a great fit on Calgary if you decide to trade his rights lol) so I think it would be awesome to see this team take a step next year. Nice writeup, informative read!
Trevor31lv and pinslack liked this.
Aug 23, 2020 at 12:33
#4
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 235
Likes: 101
Quoting: ItWasIn
I’d be dang proud to be a CBJ fan. That team plays the right way and in general just plays a very hard game. I hope Jarmo can give them a little help because they deserve it


Very proud of the team as well. Never a lack of effort with this group. They just need some of the young talent to develop and bring more skill. Would love for Yarmo to find some help for them. I just hope anyone he may bring in this offseason doesn't hurt them in the 2022 offseason when they've gotta resign a TON of core players.
Aug 23, 2020 at 12:36
#5
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 235
Likes: 101
Quoting: Alfie11
I don’t follow CBJ too closely but everyone has to respect that D corps (especially Jones+Werenski) and Torts has done a fantastic job of getting the best out of them. I’m personally a big fan of Bjorkstrand, Foudy, and Anderson for various reasons (Bjork cuz he was one of my fantasy pickup steals, Foudy I’ve liked since the world juniors, and I think Anderson plays a sought after style these days, which is why so many teams want him, I think he’d be a great fit on Calgary if you decide to trade his rights lol) so I think it would be awesome to see this team take a step next year. Nice writeup, informative read!


Appreciate the kind words. I think Anderson would be a great pickup for Calgary if Columbus moves him. They just better pay more that 2nd (like I see on EVERY Anderson trade on here) to steal my favorite player away from me 🥺
Alfie11 liked this.
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