Apr 8, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Nationwide Arena. The Jackets won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Columbus Blue Jackets
2014-15 record: 42-35-5
Postseason fate: Did not qualify for Stanley Cup playoffs
Cap space at this moment: A little over $11 million
This one could run into some trouble solely because of Columbus’ lack of cap space. But let’s work through it. On it’s current big league roster, Columbus has six free agents needing to be signed. Three of them are Jack Skille, Ryan Craig and Sean Collins, who shouldn’t cost much (Skille shouldn’t cost anything; dump him, Columbus). Curtis McElhinney is a free agent in net, and while he attempted to perform admirably in net while Sergei Bobrovsky was hurt 26 different times, he really didn’t do much in the way of earning big bucks. That leaves Mark Letestu and Matt Calvert.
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Calvert is a left wing who finished up the 2014-15 season on the fourth line, alongside Letestu and Jeremy Morin. Calvert has a heck of an injury history in his young career, as he’s maxed out at 56 games twice in five seasons. Calvert posted career highs of 13 points and 10 assists last season, but maybe Columbus is looking for someone a little more historically health-secure. And someone who is a little more versatile in playing a checking role while also proving some offensive punch. If that’s the case, Bowman should call up Columbus GM Jarmo Kekäläinen and see if he wants to take on Bickell while simultaneously deciding to dump Calvert. It’s not the most likely of scenarios, but frankly, Columbus is closer to doing big things in the Stanley Cup playoffs than Calgary. The injury bug was brutal to the Blue Jackets last season. Maybe they’ll think of Bickell as their missing piece.