The Columbus Blue Jackets were forced to trade away center Pierre-Luc Dubois, who demanded a trade. Their return was very good in Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic, however, neither player fulfilled the team’s biggest hole — the one that Dubois left — the No. 1 center. And now, the Blue Jackets are looking for a way to fill that hole, which could be challenging, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (subscription required).
The team has a history of looking for a No. 1 center in the past as they struggled to find a top center to put next to Rick Nash. Not much has changed as the team has looked like they found their answer in Ryan Johansen and eventually Dubois. However, with Dubois gone and Max Domi playing on the wing at the moment, there again is quite a hole in the top of their lineup. However, Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said he’s looking outside the organization for help.
“We’ll keep searching and doing our job and building a team. We have some very good potential center ice men growing into that role within our team. But we’re also going to look for ways to strengthen that position from the outside.”
- The New York Islanders are looking for some help for their third line, according to The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta. The team is looking for a left wing they can pair with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and rookie Oliver Wahlstrom. However, the problem for New York and general manager Lou Lamoriello is that New York has little to no cap space to work with. So, in order to acquire that forward, the team will have to move out equal salary which will be challenging. Up until now, there has been no interest in Leo Komarov. According to Pagnotta, there had been some discussion of swapping Komarov for Brett Connolly, but talks stalled since Florida wasn’t willing to retain some of Connolly’s salary to make the money fit.
- When asked in his most recent mailbag whether the Winnipeg Jets should consider trading Paul Stastny at the trade deadline, Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe was quick to answer ’no.’ Stastny, who has moved to the wing and suddenly finds himself next to Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, has played quite well in that role. With his quiet leadership and stability on the team, Wiebe believes the team will attempt to sign Stastny to a one-year extension to bring him back next year at a cheaper cost rather than trade him away.
- Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto has been fined $3,854 by the Department of Player Safety for tripping Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson. The fine is the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement. The incident (video here) occurred at 14:12 of the first period when Yamamoto pulled the legs out from underneath Andersson in front of the Flames net. He was assessed a two-minute minor for tripping.