Which Blue Jackets Players Are Staying and Going As the Trade Deadline Approaches?

By Sam Blazer on March 24, 2021 at 1:47 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard (58) during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Columbus Blue Jackets at the American Airlines Center.
Jerome Miron - USA Today Sports

The Blue Jackets are going to be faced with plenty of difficult decisions in the coming days and months as they try to put their team in the best position moving forward. As they straddle the line between being in the playoffs and on the outside looking in, they need to prioritize who is going to be with the team down the stretch.

These four players have had the most rumors surrounding them, so let's take stock of what might happen to them.

David Savard: Going

The Blue Jackets do not have a lot of right-handed defensemen in their prospect pipeline, so moving Savard is a bit of a risk. So is letting him get this far into the season without a deal in place.

Savard is having one of his worst years with the team. He was never much for putting up points, but despite that caveat, he is still not performing well. Relative to teammates, he is not pushing play in the right direction. 

While it may be selling a little low, the trade deadline always needs a right-handed defenseman or two. It wouldn't be surprising to see someone overpay with an early pick for Savard.

Michael Del Zotto: Going

While Del Zotto started the season strong and was helping the Blue Jackets immensely to stay afloat, he has recently come back down to earth. He was always going to be found money for the Blue Jackets. If he played well and stayed with the team, he would be another mobile defenseman in their arsenal.

Now, Del Zotto gets to be trade bait and because of it, he should fetch a middle-round pick if the cards fall where they need to.

Riley Nash: Push

This is a difficult one to diagnose compared to everyone else. The positive for teams? He is cheap compared to other options and strong defensively. That is a must-have for contending teams. A fourth-liner that you can just plug into your lineup is a massive plus.

The issue internally is that Tortorella is a massive fan of Nash. He plays all over the lineup, is a strong defensive player and if they continue to win, they are going to need this exact player. If they contend, there is no way that Nash goes anywhere.

Nick Foligno: Stay

At first glance, this seems like more of an emotional play than an actual evaluation. Foligno is the captain of the team on the final year of his deal. Immediately, this puts the Blue Jackets in a difficult spot. If you trade him, then you have some of the fan base decrying the move. If you keep him and you don't make the playoffs, you just let a possible asset walk for free.

Considering his salary and considering his involvement on the team, it would have to be a jaw-dropping return for the Blue Jackets to jump on it. As of right now, there are too many variables in place for an effective deal to take place.

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