There’s four big questions facing the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2020-21.
We continue with our 2020-21 NHL Season Previews for all 31 teams today by looking at what lies ahead for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Very much the National Hockey League’s version of the little engine that could, the Blue Jackets continue to be competitive year in and year out despite losing a swathe of star power.
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However, despite waving sad goodbyes to the likes of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene and Sergei Bobrovsky in the last couple of years alone, the Blue Jackets continue to relentlessly march on under Head Coach John Tortorella.
It helps too that they boast two absolute studs on the blueline in Seth Jones and Zach Werenski, while Columbus also has a legit high-end tandem between the pipes in Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo, and they do have some talent in their forward group too.
So, without further ado, let’s delve into the 4 Big Questions facing the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2020-21 NHL season…
4. How will the Pierre-Luc Dubois drama unfold?
The Columbus Blue Jackets finally signed RFA Pierre-Luc Dubois to a new deal on New Year’s Eve, but it didn’t come without drama as the forward put in a trade request before putting pen to paper.
So, while the Blue Jackets technically have Dubois under contract for the next two years with a $5 million AAV, time will tell if the center actually fulfils the entirety of that contract.
Of course, both player and team are saying all the right things right now but, given the history of young stars wanting out of Columbus, it isn’t too far-fetched to predict that Dubois could well be the next one out of the door.
There will be a boatload of teams interested too, with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reporting that up to 25 teams will want to kick the tyres on Dubois before the end of the 2020-21 NHL season.
After all, Dubois is that unique mix of size and skill for a center and, given his young age coupled with his high upside, there will be teams weak down the middle that will give up a hell of a package in order to add the 22-year-old to their franchise.
Therefore, this storyline will continue to be a talking point all season-long and, depending on how the year pans out, don’t be surprised if we get a blockbuster trade involving Pierre-Luc Dubois as early as the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline with Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen probably not wanting any distractions for his team if they are in Playoff contention again.