The Columbus Blue Jackets haven't made much noise during free agency and they may be waiting for a big fish to fall in their lap.
Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene has been reportedly pursued by the Blue Jackets and multiple other NHL clubs. Many around the league expected a deal to come together but it looks like the asking price may be holding up any potential move.
“It’s definitely the holdup,” said TSN's Darren Dreger when talking about Duchene's asking price on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290. “And the ask depends on the team that Joe Sakic is negotiating with, or the team that has expressed interest. I’ve heard that it’s been as high as a couple of first-round picks, or at least a first-round pick and a former first-round draft pick who’s now a young NHL prospect, and then some and then some.
“And I don’t blame Joe Sakic for a second. Say what you want about Matt Duchene, but he can play in pretty much every team’s top-six and he is an impactful player. You look at his international resume – it’s sparkling. It’s not his fault that the Colorado Avalanche continue to fight their way through, and Sakic knows that. So he’s holding on to a blue-chip asset."
According to Cap Friendly, the Blue Jackets have $12.88 million available in cap space. They have plenty of room to bring on a big piece to the team.
Duchene played in 77 games during the 2016-17 campaign putting up 41 points including 18 goals and 23 assists. The 26-year old winger has a contract worth $6 million AAV that will take him until the end of the 2018-19 season.