Despite losing all that forward talent this summer, the Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves in quite a roster jam. With 12 spots all but locked up, there is just one spot remaining for the bubble players. Amongst those is Sonny Milano, the team’s first-round pick in 2014, who looked like a impressive top-six option after the 2017-18 season when he tallied 15 goals as a rookie. However, he found himself instead spending most of 2018-19 with the Cleveland Monsters in the AHL and there is no guarantee that he will make the team this year. To make matters worse, Milano would have to pass through waivers if Columbus decides to cut him from the team, which would almost certainly result in another team claiming him.
The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (subscription required) writes that the Blue Jackets would prefer to trade him than pass him through waivers, but the market for Milano has been cold. The team could opt to keep him and consider moving on from one of its veteran players, such as Markus Hannikainen or Brandon Dubinsky. However, the team wouldn’t be able to bury Dubinsky in the minors with his $5.85MM salary. However, Hannikainen might be an easier option as he makes just $750K.
- Sticking with the Blue Jackets, Portzine, in a separate article, writes that Columbus is considering giving former star Artemi Panarin’s first-line position into the hands of rookie Alexandre Texier this season. Panarin, the team’s lead winger last season, left for the New York Rangers over the summer, but the team believes that the 20-year-old may be able to succeed in that role this year. Texier scored one goal in two late regular season games and played in all eight playoff games for Columbus, scoring two goals and three points. The scribe adds that if Texier does win the top-line job, he could become a top candidate for the Calder Trophy.
- Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi believes that the Philadelphia Flyers are likely to keep eight defensemen out of training camp. The team has a numbers problem with defensemen and with only one of them waiver exempt, Philippe Myers, who is a lock to make the team, the Flyers would have to put a player on waivers, likely Samuel Morin. Philadelphia believes there is a good chance they would lose Morin if they put him on waivers and are more likely to keep the extra defenseman instead.