This certainly feels like the end.
Matt Calvert was drafted by the Blue Jackets in 2010, a fifth-round pick out of Brandon (WHL) and worked his way up the depth chart and into a regular lineup spot. He's become a fan favorite of sorts, in part because of his work ethic and also because of a few memorable goals – particularly in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
But there's mounting evidence that this marriage appears headed for a split. Calvert, 29, is in the final year of a three-year, $6.6 million contract and he remains unsigned with unrestricted free agency looming on July 1.
TSN's Darren Dreger appeared on WGR 550 in Buffalo on Wednesday and was asked about Calvert's future. Here's what he said, per Chris Nichols:
“Doesn’t sound like it,” agreed Dreger. “And as I always say, when players get to this point where they’ve earned their right to unrestricted free agency, take advantage of it. Your careers are so short.
“There’s going to be a strong market for Matt Calvert. He’s going to get paid. He’s going to get a decent increase in his salary. And if he’s not good enough for John Tortorella, off the top of my head I can probably name 15 teams that would have an interest in the type of game that Matt Calvert brings to the table.”
Comments made by Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella, referencing Calvert's 2017-18 season as "up and down" and "like a toilet seat" didn't sit well with Calvert. During his end-of-season interview, Calvert said the only thing "up and down" about his season was his inconsistent ice time and role. That raised a few eyebrows.
Calvert has scored 72 goals in 416 career NHL games – all spent with the Blue Jackets.