Alex Texier's Return Means the Blue Jackets Add a Middle-six Winger

By Coby Maeir on March 7, 2023 at 10:15 am
Alexandre Texier takes a shot in the Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs game.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

When speaking to the media after Friday's NHL trade deadline, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said that the team expects Alex Texier to return for the 2023-24 season. 

"That's going to be a huge addition for our group as well," Kekalainen said. 

On August 24, the team announced that Texier, "per the advice and recommendation of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, will not join the club for the 2022-23 National Hockey League season."

This season, he's played for ZSC Lions in Switzerland, posting 13-22-35 in 46 games played. In 2021-22, he recorded 11-9--20 in 36 games with the Blue Jackets. 

So, what does his return mean for the Blue Jackets in 2023-24?

It means they're getting a middle-six winger back in the lineup and his return adds some lineup stability. If the team's four wingers in the top six are Johnny Gaudreau, Patrik Laine, Kirill Marchenko, and Kent Johnson, that leaves Texier and Yegor Chinakov as the third-line wingers. If those six players are your wingers in the top nine, I personally feel like that's a solid place to be. Now, that means that everyone has to stay healthy, which, if this season is any example, is never a guarantee. 

Never underestimate the importance of third-line players. Kekalainen is right, Texier's return is a big deal.

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