The Columbus Blue Jackets add another reason to their claim of Jussi Jokinen earlier today, as they announce that Sonny Milano will be out four to six weeks with a torn oblique. The team has also recalled Tyler Motte from the AHL for the time being.
Milano was injured during a game earlier this month against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and will miss out on a big chunk of his first full-time chance in the NHL. In 35 games this season, Milano had 13 points. The 21-year old is a big part of the Blue Jackets future, and could be considered a trade deadline acquisition when he’s able to return later in February.
The Blue Jackets, who currently sit third in the Metropolitan Division but have struggled recently, are one of the most interesting teams to watch as the trade deadline approaches. Though Jokinen could be an option to fix some of their powerplay woes and depth issues up front, they likely are continuing to monitor the trade market for a more impactful fix.
Still dealing with injured reserve stints for Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson, Columbus could be a tough team to bring down if they could ever get healthy. With Milano now joining the walking wounded, the team could be forced to make an additional move before long to make sure they don’t fall behind in the extremely competitive Metro. They sit just five points ahead of the last-place Hurricanes, and at any point could fall out of a playoff spot.