It's no secret that the Blue Jackets will be underdogs next season.
They'll be underdogs to make the playoffs, underdogs to win the Metropolitan Division, underdogs to win the Eastern Conference, and underdogs to win the Stanley Cup.
While those outside the Blue Jackets organization may not see a successful year for the Blue Jackets coming to fruition, those inside the organization see a different path.
General Manager Jarmo Kekailainen is confident in the group that he has.
After the exodus of free agents, he spoke on the current state of the roster: ""Our core is strong. (It's) only going to get stronger with the age that they have...We still have Seth Jones. We have Zach Werenski. We have Nick Foligno. We have Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner, Josh Anderson. That’s a strong core and we’re gonna have a good team."
(Our core) is only going to get stronger...we're going to have a good team.– Jarmo Kekailainen
Despite Kekailainen's confidence, betting markets see the Blue Jackets differently. Per Betonline.ag, the Blue Jackets have the third-worst odds to win the Eastern Conference. They're only ahead of the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators (and even with the Buffalo Sabres).
There are undoubtedly several question marks surrounding the Blue Jackets' 2019-20 roster, and that's reflected in these odds. The good news about those question marks is that they are what they are: question marks. The Blue Jackets have the dynamic talent to fill these roles, but a lot of players are unproven at the NHL level.
While there is ongoing debate about what the results of the 2019-20 season will be for the Blue Jackets, there's one thing that everyone should be able to agree on: it's going to be exciting.