The Columbus Blue Jackets have kept pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race despite top free agents leaving town and the club being ravaged by injury after injury. That resilient nature will have to continue, as another one of their forwards is headed for injured reserve. Alexander Wennberg will be out three to four weeks with an upper-body injury. Ryan MacInnis has been recalled in his place.
Wennberg suffered the injury over the weekend against the Montreal Canadiens, putting on hold what has been another disappointing season to this point. The 25-year old has just five goals and 20 points in 52 games, a far cry from the career-high 59-point season in 2017 that earned him a six-year, $29.4MM deal with the Blue Jackets.
While always a pass-first player, Wennberg has frustratingly scored just 15 goals over his last 193 regular season games with the Blue Jackets, a total that is unacceptable for a forward earning nearly $5MM per season. At times made a healthy scratch by head coach John Tortorella last season, Wennberg has at least kept himself in the Blue Jackets’ lineup this year—though that may have to do with their ever-growing list of injured players.
MacInnis meanwhile will come in after playing seven games earlier this season for the Blue Jackets, the first handful of NHL contests for the young forward. Originally selected 43rd overall in 2014, the son of former NHL great Al MacInnis hasn’t been able to reach the level of offensive production that made him such a dynamic player in junior.