Despite the fact that the Columbus Blue Jackets have carried through an incredibly discouraging summer and are currently sitting in a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, they are still facing a decision on what to do with one of their core players. Josh Anderson, who scored 27 goals for the Blue Jackets last season and looked like he would be one of the faces of the franchise after Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovksy left in free agency, now be on the move himself. Aaron Portzline of The Athletic (subscription required) reports that the “feeling around the NHL” is that Anderson will be moved either by this season’s deadline or more likely in the summer as he becomes a restricted free agent for the final time.
Portzline examines the entire situation revolving around Anderson, including the potential ways his future could unfold. The 25-year old will be an RFA with arbitration rights in the offseason and could potentially take the Blue Jackets (or any acquiring team) to arbitration in order to walk right into unrestricted free agent status in 2021. Dealing with injuries all year, Anderson has just one goal and four points in 26 games with the Blue Jackets and hasn’t played since the middle of December.
- Another physical forward dealing with injuries this season has been Sammy Blais, but he’ll have his return tonight for the St. Louis Blues. The 23-year old Blais has been activated from injured reserve after missing the last 28 games for the Blues. In 20 games this season he has five goals and eight points, both career-highs for the young forward.
- If you’ve been counting the points Alexis Lafreniere has scored on a nightly basis, take a break. TSN reports that the prospective first-overall pick in this year’s draft has been suspended for the next three games in the QMJHL for a headshot, meaning he’ll have to sit at 84 points on the season for a while. Lafreniere leads all QMJHL players in scoring despite taking off part of the season to play in the World Juniors, but this is not the first time he has received supplementary discipline from the league. While his physicality is part of the appeal, he’ll need to avoid these kinds of hits if he wants to keep a clean record when he makes it to the NHL.