It's not you, David.
It's really not. When anyone speaks about the talent that the Columbus Blue Jackets have on the defensive side of the puck, David Savard is a name that should be said in the same breath as Zach Werenski and Seth Jones.
But as painful as it is to type, you absolutely can not come back to the Blue Jackets next season. Before the bad news, I want us to relive one beautiful moment from last April.
Ok. With that out of the way, allow me to explain. There is an old adage that defense wins championships. That's true, but to have any shot at a championship, there has to be at least some spark on offense. That's what the Blue Jackets are missing, and their best chance to ignite that spark is, heavy sigh, to trade you.
It's not that Columbus couldn't move other parts. With all due respect to Ryan Murray and Markus Nutivarra, I'd much rather see #58 skating with the Jackets than #27 or #65. The reality is, they aren't the catch that you are. Murray isn't healthy enough to get the scoring forward Columbus needs, and Nutivarra is good, but not good enough, to get a good return.
There are some good names that will be available too. You could be the big fish in a package centered around Winnipeg's Patrik Laine, for example. If Laine stays, Winnipeg may be willing to move Nik Ehlers instead, which would be a lesser known name than Laine but almost as good of a get when it comes to talent. (Cheaper, too.)
Or, you could be the fish in a potential deal with Toronto to acquire Andreas Johnsson, though, Columbus may need a little more from the Maple Leafs in that scenario. Johnny Gaudreau may be made available by the Calgary Flames, and they need help in net and on the blue line.
One of the two talented goalies are likely to be traded, but will that alone be enough to get a bonafide goal scorer? Probably not.
You're so good at what you do, that you will be that piece that gets the Blue Jackets what they need. The way you block shots? The gratitude will be forever there. Of the 30 players with the most blocked shots during this postseason, you were the only one who played fewer than 15 games. You did it in TEN games, and you were 13th! During the regular season, only Oscar Klefbom of the Edmonton Oilers had more blocks than you.
Blocking shots like you takes a true team player. Not only that, but you also stand up for your teammates. Remember when you fought Tom Wilson because Tom Wilson is a jerk? I do.
You stood up against one of the biggest bullies in recent NHL history. That is the stuff that cements the bond of a locker room, and it's not something that goes unnoticed.
So, as difficult as it is to imagine this team without you, it has to happen. Losing you will be a giant step back.
But it'll also be two steps forward.
And they're two steps forward that have to be taken.