Four Bargain Bin Free Agents The Blue Jackets Should Take a Flyer On

By Sam Blazer on July 3, 2019 at 10:43 am
 Minnesota Wild forward Pontus Aberg (26) looks on from the ice in the first period against Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center.
Brad Rempel-USA Today Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets don't need much more on their team outside of a top end player. That is going to make it difficult for players to find a spot near the bottom of their lineup. That doesn't mean they won't take a flyer on a player that has high-end potential and can move the needle.

These are four free agents that could be tantalizing for a cheap price.

Pontus Aberg

Unable to stick consistently on a team just yet, Aberg has still put up points in bunches. He is a bottom six scoring forward and on a team that prioritizes defense in those roles, it could make for a difficult sell to a coach that may not use him to his best potential.

The ultimate low-risk option that could also slot into the AHL if things don't work out, why not take a flyer on someone that can be in your middle six if all goes well and if it doesn't you can still find a use for them.

Patrick Maroon

Although the points have gone downhill, Stanley Cup champion Maroon still is a great possession player. The Blue Jackets want to continue their Stanley Cup aspirations and for someone like Maroon who is going to be looking for a contract with a similar contender, this could be an opportunity to still compete.

The problem becomes the amount of money one is willing to give a player at his age and with a skill set that may be deteriorating. 

Thomas Vanek

The Blue Jackets have already done this song and dance before so why not do it again? Vanek is still a half a point per game player at his very worst. He may be 35 years old but the motor keeps running for Vanek.

At the worst you get trade bait at the deadline, at the best, Vanek could provide an offensive spark to a forward group that is going to need all the help that it can get this upcoming year. 

Tobias Rieder

Similar to Aberg, the potential here is tantalizing. Rieder was brought in to skate with Connor McDavid for the Oilers but he wasn't able to find any consistency with the player. Nonetheless, Rieder is a player that can score and do so in bunches. 

His possession numbers are concerning but a player like Rieder can be used all over your lineup and for a team without the number one guy, versatility will be useful.

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