On the Columbus Blue Jackets …
Emily Kaplan of ESPN: Keys to the Capitals offseason.
1. Sign Artemi Panarin to a contract extension and consider extensions for Zach Werenski and Sergei Bobrovsky – The 26-year old Panarin is in for a big raise on his next deal. He’s scheduled to become a UFA after next season and getting him locked up should be GM Jarmo Kekalainen’s top priority. Werenski’s entry-level deal is up after next season. Bobrovsky would be a UFA after next season.
2. Add to their blue line – Seth Jones and Werenski are locks. Jack Johnson and Ian Cole will be UFA’s. Ryan Murray will be an RFA.
3. Acquire scoring depth – The Blue Jackets could use some scoring depth down the middle and some secondary scorers. Boone Jenner is a RFA and his production has dropped the past two years. Thomas Vanek is a UFA and likely won’t be back unless it’s on a cheap deal. Finding scoring help on the wing will be easier than down the middle.
On the New Jersey Devils …
Abby Mastracco of NorthJersey.com: Things for the Devils to look at this offseason as they look to build on this year.
The Devils need to get better on the blue line. Would they be able to land John Carlson in free agency or Erik Karlsson in a trade? The Devils have the cap space to sign Carlson. The Devils were one of the teams linked to Karlsson in pre trade deadline speculation.
The Devils need to add some secondary scoring. The Devils may look to re-sign Patrick Maroon who fit in nice after the deadline. John Tavares is obviously the biggest name that could hit free agency, with Evander Kane and James van Riemsdyk as potential options on the wing. David Perron could be an option.
Do the Devils explore trade options in net? Cory Schnieder has a no-trade clause. Keith Kinkaid showed that he could be a No. 1 goalie. Do the Devils look at trading him for some scoring help or a young two-way defenseman?