Blue Jackets Make Deadline Two Deals That Are Unexciting, But Serve a Purpose

By Nic Hendrickson on February 25, 2020 at 10:15 am
Anaheim Ducks center Devin Shore (29) shoots on goal in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
Ron Chenoy – USA Today Sports
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The Columbus Blue Jackets weren’t exactly the most exciting team at the NHL Trade Deadline, and it was nothing like last year. Despite that, both deals made on Monday served a better purpose than what they may show on the surface.

For starters, the Sonny Milano deal serves to address an issue the Blue Jackets have had for a long time, and that is depth down the middle of the ice. While it does not completely fix things, the addition of Devin Shore adds a reliable bottom-six center, something the Jackets have lacked for quite some time.

Sure, Shore doesn’t fix any issues in the way of scoring, but depth is at a premium at this point of the season. With over 350 man-games lost this season, and Columbus quite possibly on pace to hit the worst in season in organization history at this point, you need depth where you can get it, and Shore fits that mold.

And taking into account that Milano was in the deal, it made sense for GM Jarmo Kekalainen. That's not to say that Milano isn’t talented (we know he is), because he has plenty of offensive ability, but rather to say that the experiment to see if he could carve a role for himself is finally over.

For a player that never fit the system to be going the other way, it makes it more understandable as to why it was a one-for-one.

The other deal of the day could be summed up in one word: opportunity. Markus Hannikainen, a player who saw a few spurts of ice time here and there, went to Arizona for a seventh-round selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. This trade represents a fresh start for Hannikainen, who had obviously lost some standing in the organization and been passed over.

So while you might take a glance at the deals and forget they happened, just remember that they serve a purpose. The Blue Jackets addressed a need at forward and may recoup an asset for a player who wasn't going to get an opportunity here, and that's likely the best the team could hope for with few assets to deal with and a ton of injuries hampering their depth.

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