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Columbus Blue Jackets have made a deal with Vegas: report

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They are paying an extortionate price to hold onto all of the players they can’t protect. Is this a good idea?

Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five
One of these players is a star.
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

They say love is blind. Jarmo Kekäläilen must really love his team.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch posted news last night with details of a trade that has been rumoured for days.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are trading their first round pick and a prospect as part of a deal to protect a handful of their players they don’t have protection slots for. The names listed Columbus wants to protect:

  • Josh Anderson
  • Jack Johnson
  • Joonas Korpisalo
  • David Savard

The players they want Vegas to select from:

  • Matt Calvert
  • William Karlsson
  • Ryan Murray

Details for exactly which prospect is involved are scarce, and there is still an indication that the contract for David Clarkson is involved in the deal, giving at least some cap relief to the Blue Jackets if true.

The Columbus first round pick is the 24th overall, so it’s not a great one. That, historically, is about on par with much of what you get in the second round.

But there’s not a player on that list Columbus is protecting who is worth even a second round pick plus a prospect and a fourth line checking forward in a trade. That’s what the Blue Jackets are giving Vegas between the deal and the player they will ultimately select.

Ryan Murray is the only name on the list who was taken in the first round, and they’ll give him away, apparently because they have other defensive prospects.

If the point of this deal was to shed the Clarkson contract, that’s a real benefit, so fine, do that. But protecting Jack Johnson or even David Savard at that price is foolhardy. Joonas Korpisalo is the player at real risk here, but even he is only a prospect with potential.

This deal, if it looks like this in final form, is already in the running for the dumbest expansion draft trade. This is the worst example of overvaluing marginal players with a side order of trying to be clever in a deal and ending up manoeuvred into utter folly.

Someone should tell Kekäläilen that outside of Sergei Bobrovsky, Seth Jones and a core of good forwards, none of whom are on that list up there, he has a team of replacement level players. They don’t need to protect any of them.

Is this the dumbest trade of the expansion draft? Or will we see worse?