Considering how the Metropolitan Division was looking at the beginning of this season, the Columbus Blue Jackets have done a nice job not being in the absolute basement. They currently sit ninth in the Eastern Conference, which normally means competition for a playoff spot. But Columbus is actively 13 points out of the last spot with just one game in hand. They are this close because of a hot streak as of late, led by Patrik Laine. Laine has 43 points in 41 games this season, with 17 goals in his last 19 games. This run probably keeps Laine in Columbus for the season. However, that cannot be guaranteed for many players on this team.
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Current Record: 30-27-3
Division Standings: Fifth in the Metropolitan
Buyers or Sellers: Sellers
Concerns over Domi’s availability to start the season and his cap hit of $5.3 million kept him with the Blue Jackets through the expansion draft, and now the team could get something for him at the trade deadline. Of course, anything would be more than what Seattle chose, defenseman Gavin Bayreuther, who re-signed with the Jackets a week later.
Domi’s defensive impacts are horrid, but he still is a contributor on the other end of the ice. He has scored nine goals with 22 assists for 31 points in 50 games, which is not a bad pace. For a mid-round pick and maybe some salary cap retention, Domi could go to a contender and play a sheltered bottom-six role, which is what suits him the best right now.
Nyquist is the best option currently to be dealt by Columbus with a term left on his contract. Equipped with a cap hit of $5.5 million, the Swede is set to be a free agent after 2022-23. After missing all of last season, Nyquist has been an effective player in 2021-22. He is yet to miss a game and has scored 14 goals with 36 total points.
This would be a perfect opportunity for the Blue Jackets to sell higher on Nyquist than they likely will be able to in the offseason or at next year’s trade deadline. This season, he has an abnormally high 17.9 percent shooting rate. That is the second-highest of his career, behind just his first full season of 2013-14. Since he is 32-years-old, his decline could also start to set in. Abandoning that contract now would make sense.
This is more of a dump at all costs option rather than a serious move to make. Korpisalo has a better reputation than his stats suggest, thanks to some amazing postseason play. He has the NHL record for most saves in a game and had a .941 save percentage in the 2019-20 postseason. Since then, he has been horrendous. Only playing 19 games this year, Korpisalo has been one of the league’s worst goalies. He has a .883 save percentage with a 3.95 GAA.
A team may still be interested in Korpisalo as a potential third goalie, thanks to that brief playoff pedigree. Columbus should be willing to make a move for even a late-round draft pick. Korpisalo is a free agent after this year at a $2.8 million cap hit that can easily have money retained on it. Plus, third goalie Jean-Francois Berube was surprisingly impressive in the four games he played this season. Dealing Korpisalo would give the Blue Jackets a chance to get a better look at him.
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