Three Blazing Takes: Free Agency Edition

By Sam Blazer on November 2, 2020 at 8:07 am
 Florida Panthers left wing Mike Hoffman (68) controls the puck against Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (44) during the first period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty - USA Today Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets still have a couple of restricted free agents to sign for the 2020-21 campaign. After that, they have a couple of spots in the lineup to fill and they still have a couple of intriguing options. The options don't have to break the bank either making it an even better situation for Columbus.

Here are three blazing takes on the team's free agency as we enter November:

Mike Hoffman is NOT the forward the Blue Jackets should be circling

Hoffman is the last remaining forward in free agency that has put up bonafide numbers offensively. While the numbers are no joke, his possession and defensive numbers are a real detriment to the team. While you can sacrifice some you can't give it all up for an offensive force.

The real target that should be circled by the Blue Jackets should be Mikael Granlund. Granlund has the flexibility to move up and down the line up while also being a scoring threat. He is a fantastic passer and is a player that can be dynamic no matter where you place him. Meanwhile, he does all of this while pushing play in the right direction.

He isn't going to make nearly the six million dollars he made during his last deal but after a couple of disappointing seasons, you may be able to get him at a discount. It will be tough to determine what exactly that number should be but if the team makes tidy work with the restricted free agents then they should have room for a player of his caliber.

A veteran defenseman could make all the difference

Looking at the bottom pairing for the Blue Jackets, they are going to have to go into the season with Dean Kukan and Andrew Peeke. While they could definitely add a much-needed change to the lineup, they aren't filled with much experience. Adding in a veteran defenseman that is versatile and fits the mold of the other players, it could make a world of difference. 

The Adam Clendening's and Gabriel Carlsson's of the world aren't going to cut it. Is Scott Harrington really who you want to be filling in the role as the seventh defenseman? The versatility of a Ron Hainsey could plug a hole that the Blue Jackets don't even know they have at this point. They don't need a world beater but they need someone that could play all over the ice and eat up minutes if need be.

The bargain bin is going to be plentiful

Considering the news of free agents has slowed down considerably and trades haven't been made in some time, it looks like a big domino is going to need to fall before more moves take place.

Taking a peek at CapFriendly, you can already see that some players are going to slip through the cracks and are going to get close to the league minimum. The team has been keen on Derrick Brassard in the past and is coming off a solid campaign, he would make sense as a bottom-six stopgap although Mikko Koivu hopefully fills that role.

It would be foolish to not at least take a good hard look at the players they currently have and see whether or not it can be improved by a player on a one-year deal. The team is going to need the offensive punch and no stone should go unturned.

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