Blue Jackets, Stars load up ahead of National Hockey League trade deadline

28 February, 2019, 08:02 | Author: Amy Huff
  • Senators trade centre Matt Duchene to Columbus for prospects, pick

He, however, struggled to stay healthy in his almost two years in New Jersey, where he skated in 77 games and had 17 goals and 41 points.

The new-look Blue Jackets now will have six players with 20 or more goals - the most in the league - distributed among the top three forward lines. Duchene was traded mid-game when Colorado was playing the Islanders and he snuck off the ice in the first period as the deal went down. Adding the skilled center is a sign that Columbus might shoot for a playoff run with Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, who are both free agents this summer, in tow.

This puts the Blue Jackets in a precarious position, and although they won the deadline from a talent perspective, all of their trades are listed as "incomplete" when you go to grade them.

Columbus has traded for Ottawa Senators center Matt Duchene, the Blue Jackets announced Friday.

Several NHL teams were busy making moves Saturday night, less than 48 hours before the NHL trade deadline.

He has a $1.8 million cap hit and will be a free agent come July.

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The Blue Jackets turned right around and flipped Julius Bergman to the Rangers for Adam McQuaid, yet another player on an expiring contract.

"He has local ties having played at Ohio State and in talking to him (he's) very excited about coming back to Columbus, being a Blue Jacket and helping us as we move forward", Kekalainen said.

Much like Columbus would owe Ottawa another first-round pick if it re-signs Duchene, Dallas' conditional third-rounder in 2020 becomes a first if Zuccarello re-ups with Dallas.

"I think Jarmo - and that's what I love about him - I think he's got some jam".

Kekalainen denied the notion the Blue Jackets were going "all-in", by noting the team has several young developing prospects in its system. But it's not going to be a situation where we rush anyone back. "I was just dying laughing", Duchene said of Tkachuk. With 21 games remaining, Columbus (35-23-3) is third in the Metropolitan Division with 73 points: four behind second-place Washington and one ahead the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins, who are tied in points for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"It was a huge thing to commit to eight years, somewhere where there's still a lot of question marks", Duchene said. "I'm glad Panarin and [Bobrovsky] are still here, gives us a chance to compete".

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