It's that time of year (sort of) for some Big Josh Anderson news.
On TSN's segment Insider Trading on Wednesday, Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun discussed several trade rumors floating around the league, including one having to do with the power forward for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"All trade speculation around Josh Anderson should be on hold, at least temporarily," said Dreger. "The Columbus Blue Jackets first need to find out what his expectation is contract-wise. Anderson would like to stay in Columbus, but he needs a long-term deal to do that."
Anderson, a 26-year-old fourth-round pick had a devastating 2019-2020 campaign after a breakout season just a year ago. After a 27-20-47 stat line in 2018-2019, Anderson was only able to scrape together 1-3-4 in 26 games, and missed a majority of the season and the entire playoffs due to an upper-body injury.
The Ontario product had a contract dispute with the club ahead of the 2017-2018 season, where he ended up (in seemingly conceding fashion) signing a three-year deal worth 1.85 million AAV. He has now finished that body of work and is a restricted free agent.
"JARMO KEKALAINEN MAY NOT HAVE THE STOMACH FOR THAT WHICH MIGHT FUEL MORE ANDERSON TRADE SPECULATION."– TSN's Darren Dreger
Take this past season out, and it's a simple(r) deal. Anderson had 30 points in 2017-2018, 47 in 2018-2019, and should have gone for 60-ish this year and signed a 4-5 million AAV deal long-term. But, because of how disastrous the most recent campaign was for the winger, it throws a wrench in everything.
There was speculation if Anderson even wanted to play in Columbus anymore towards the end of this past season, but Dreger states that Anderson would like to re-sign as a Blue Jacket. But, this is the age where most players sign a long-term deal. Anderson will likely want to be paid his dues for settling on his last contract, plus having two solid years after. He will likely explain this past year as an injury fluke.
Can the club look at it that way, though? Should they give Anderson what his potential shows he can be, or try and meet in the middle? Would Anderson meet in the middle (again)?
If not, a sign-and-trade might be in the cards or an offer sheet from an opposing team for the big man. Time will tell.