The Columbus Blue Jackets' Compensatory Pick to the Vancouver Canucks is Anything But Set

By Sam Blazer on May 31, 2017 at 12:18 pm
John Tortorella yells on the bench during the Stanley Cup playoffs
Charles LeClaire-USA Today Sports

The offseason leads to speculation and rumors. It's one of the few assurances we have in hockey.

One of the biggest decisions the Columbus Blue Jackets face this offseason is the decision surrounding their second round pick. When the Blue Jackets' hired John Tortorella while he was still under contract with the Vancouver Canucks, they are forced to give a compensatory pick to the Canucks. 

Due to Tortorella's contract status with the Canucks at the time, the Blue Jackets will have to give up a second round pick. They decided against giving up a pick last season and now have this year or next to give it up. 

Considering how well the Blue Jackets did this year, it would make sense that they give up their pick. They would be giving up a lower pick than one that could have more value next year depending on how the team fares. 

An article from Ben Kuzma from The Province in Vancouver points out how difficult a decision this will be for the Blue Jackets.

All this has stolen some focus from the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo this week, because Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee is open for pre-expansion draft business. He could complete trades and consider offers to not select certain exposed players — such as that second-round Blue Jackets pick — and it could have an entry draft trickle-down effect.

Depending what occurs in the hours before Thursday’s compensation deadline, there’s a chance the Blue Jackets could already have a deal in place with the Golden Knights that may not involve the pick.

If so, the Canucks could land it this year and be in a position to draft a playmaking centre, power-play defenceman and fill another need with three picks in the first two rounds.

It's a sticky situation for the Blue Jackets. If Scott Hartnell doesn't waive his no-move clause, a player like Josh Anderson could be exposed. Even players like William Karlsson and Matt Calvert, who are thought of highly in the organization could be exposed. 

How much is a team willing to pay to ensure a player that they think highly of isn't exposed? A second round pick could be right in that range.

The behind the scenes moves are going to be clarified after this June 1 deadline. Surprisingly, a decision about a compensatory pick may have an impact on the Blue Jackets for years to come. 

Instead of a boring offseason, info will be coming out daily. It only makes the expansion draft more intriguing. The NHL is normally secretive but a lot of team's hands are going to be exposed in the week's ahead. The Blue Jackers will unquestionably be one of them.