After adding forwards Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel as well as goalie Keith Kinkaid, some might think that the Blue Jackets would be finished with their moves. However, that does not appear to be the case as Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports (Twitter link) that they’ve shown interest in Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.
The 38-year-old has been a dependable cog on Detroit’s back end since the 2003-04 season and has logged 934 games with the Red Wings since then. He has expressed an interest in remaining with Detroit for his full career but indicated earlier this month that he would consider moving if GM Ken Holland approached him.
This season, Kronwall has played a larger role than expected, logging nearly 20 minutes a night while chipping in with 16 points (2-14-16). That has been in large part due to the litany of injuries on Detroit’s back end throughout the year but he has held his own with the extra ice time. It’s likely that if Columbus was to add him, they likely wouldn’t be counting on him to play as much as he’d slot in behind Seth Jones and Ryan Murray (when healthy).
Kronwall is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and has a cap hit of $4.75MM. He also has a ten-team no-trade clause but even if Columbus wasn’t on that list, it’s believed that Holland would go to the veteran for his approval to be dealt.