The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded Jordan Schroeder to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Jean-Francois Berube, bringing in another goaltender to the organization. Schroeder actually carries a slightly lower cap hit ($650K vs. $750K for Berube), but both are on one-way deals.
The Blackhawks have been open with their desire to add an experienced goaltender behind Corey Crawford for next season, and were involved in the talks for Philipp Grubauer at one point. Now, Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription required) reports that the team has reached out to Jonathan Bernier, Carter Hutton and Cam Ward, three of the best and most experienced goaltenders headed for unrestricted free agency. It would make sense then to clear out one of the five goaltenders they had under contract, and Berube must have pulled the short straw.
Berube, 26, looked like an up-and-coming goaltender a few years ago for the Los Angeles Kings and then New York Islanders, but couldn’t put it all together at the NHL level. Now through 34 games at the highest level he’s posted just a .898 save percentage. The Blue Jackets won’t be using him at the NHL level unless something happens to one of their other goaltenders—their duo of Sergei Bobrovsky and Joonas Korpisalo is one of the best in the league—but could use a veteran for the Lake Erie Monsters.
Schroeder did play in 21 games for the Blue Jackets this season, but didn’t appear to be in their long-term plans. The 27-year old center is an excellent minor league player, but has just 42 points through 165 NHL games and will now join his fourth team without being able to lock down a full-time role. If he can’t secure the fourth-line center role in Chicago he’ll likely find himself on waivers again before the season begins, and perhaps playing for the Rockford IceHogs this year.