The Columbus Blue Jackets provided some good news and bad news for their fans today. The team has activated Zach Werenski from injured reserve, but replaced him with Josh Anderson who is expected to miss four to six weeks. Anderson suffered a shoulder injury over the weekend.
It is brutal news for Anderson, who injured his shoulder in a fight with Mark Borowiecki and will miss another long stretch in a contract year. The physical winger had broken out last season with 27 goals and 47 points, showing he could be an elite power forward in the NHL if given the chance. This season though has been marred by injury and Anderson has just four points in 26 games.
That’s huge news, given the 25-year old will be entering a contract negotiation this summer. Anderson will be a restricted free agent for the final time and looking for a substantial raise on his current $1.85MM cap hit. Of course, he could always select arbitration to get a one-year deal and take him right to unrestricted free agency, hoping a healthy year gets him back to the level he had shown previously.
All of that is complicated by the fact that the Blue Jackets are struggling to stay in the playoff race this season. The team has scored just 82 goals this season (third worst in the Eastern Conference) and have a 13-14-6 record. While getting Werenski back will help, the team may be looking to sell off some assets before long.