The Blue Jackets Are Looking To Move Max Domi, Per A Report

By Jacob Nitzberg on August 3, 2021 at 9:34 am
Mar 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Max Domi (16) in action during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Columbus Blue Jackets at the American Airlines Center.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Kraken didn't bite when the Blue Jackets left Max Domi exposed for the expansion draft.

After that, you might think that the Blue Jackets aren't sure if Domi fits into their plans for this season and beyond, and you'd be right. According to TSN's Elliotte Friedman, the Blue Jackets are actively looking for trade partners who might be interested in taking Domi. 

"I think they're trying to move Max Domi," Friedman said on Monday's edition of the 31 Thoughts podcast. "I just don't know if the fit is going to work (in Columbus). I think they want to see if they can get him to somewhere else where the fit might be better."

The 26-year-old forward has one more year left on the two-year deal he signed with the Blue Jackets. It comes with a base salary of $6 million and a $5.3 million cap hit. It hasn't exactly been a perfect match between Domi and the Blue Jackets thus far. Last season, Domi bounced around from wing to center before finally settling in at center over the last stretch of the season, but it was clear that John Tortorella expected more out of Domi than he got. 

Some of that can be attributed to Domi playing through an injury. After the 2020-21 NHL season concluded, he underwent surgery for a labral tear in his right shoulder. He'll miss at least the first month of the 2021-22 NHL season if he stays on his current timeline.

Any team that takes Domi would be doing the Blue Jackets a favor, given three factors: 

  1. The time that Domi will miss while rehabbing his shoulder
  2. Domi's cap hit ($5.3 million is a lot to pay for a forward who only notched 9-15-24 in 54 games last season)
  3. He'll be an unrestricted free agent after the conclusion of the 2021-22 season 

With that in mind, the Blue Jackets would be lucky to receive anything of note in a potential trade. They offered him to Seattle for free (well, except for the cap hit), and the Kraken weren't interested. 

If there aren't any takers for Domi, it won't be the end of the world for the Blue Jackets, who currently have $11.23 million in cap space, per CapFriendly. They've signed every restricted free agent, save for Andrew Peeke, who has 10.2(c)* status. Peeke's contract won't be huge, and they'll still have a lot of cap space to work with.

*Per CapFriendly, A player with 10.2(c) status has not played enough professional seasons to acquire Group 2 RFA status. They are ineligible for an offer sheet.

If they really want to move Domi, they could look to take on a bad contract in exchange, due to their surplus of cap space. If they take a contract that's significantly worse than Domi's, they could be able to acquire draft picks or other assets in that deal.

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