Might Josh Anderson be one of the odd men out in Columbus?
While the true answer is likely weeks (or months) away, it's worth noting that conversation around his future has begun to percolate. On a few occasions over the past two-plus seasons, national NHL insiders have mentioned Anderson's name as a player of interest to several teams – the Toronto Maple Leafs among them – but to date, nothing has come to fruition.
Now, the situation is a bit more complex. The Blue Jackets are banged up to an insane degree and have several call-ups and depth players stepping into larger roles; and though this isn't to say Anderson is at risk of losing his spot on the roster (he scored 27 goals last season, for crying out loud), it's worth wondering if he might be used as a trade chip to add depth in other areas of the roster.
Craig Custance of The Athletic released a list of 27 players who may be traded by this year's NHL trade deadline, and Anderson made the cut.
Also on the list is Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray, who is currently out of the lineup due to injury but is seen by many teams around the league as a top-four defenseman. The Blue Jackets were reportedly dangling Murray on the trade market last summer, but opted to retain and sign him to a two-year contract extension.
Custance says that Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen is seeking a high-end forward and may use Murray as a piece to acquire help up front; however, this begs the question...if you're looking for a high-end forward, couldn't you just wait for Anderson to return? While the Blue Jackets are low on assets after last year's trade deadline shopping spree, their cupboard isn't bare and this year's team is starting to look like it has designs on making a run, as well.