On the Columbus Blue Jackets …
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: (mailbag) Though it’s very unlikely that the Blue Jackets trade center Brandon Dubinsky due to their lack of depth down the middle, may not be completely out of the question. Dubinsky has a no-movement clause, which turns to a modified no-trade clause on July 1st. NTC and thin down the middle makes a trade anytime soon seem unlikely.
Defenseman Jack Johnson will be a free agent after the season. They had some contract talks before the start the season, but obviously, a deal wasn’t reached. If the Blue Jackets believe that Ryan Murray and Gabriel Carlsson are top-four defensemen, that could make Johnson expendable. They could also move another defenseman and sign Johnson to an extension.
On the New York Islanders and New York Rangers …
“And look, this is how this is going to play out until John Tavares wakes up one day and says, ‘Alright, well I feel like I should either A) sign that extension or B) not sign it and sit back and test the unrestricted free agent market.’ And frankly, nobody knows that at this point, including John Tavares.”
Dreger adds that there hasn’t been any meaningful back and forth talk between the sides. If Tavares decides that he wants to sign an extension with the Islanders.
“I mean you’re talking about an eight-year maximum and pretty much whatever he wants on an annual average salary.”
Dreger said that most teams believe Tavares will re-sign with the Islanders.
Dreger on the New York Rangers and comments that he made on NBCSN on Wednesday.
“There is a possibility of a trade, but trying to do anything that matters at this stage of the regular season very, very difficult. I can tell you Kathryn, eyebrows raised in Ottawa on Monday. Glen Sather, Jim Schoenfeld, Gilles Leger, and Doug Risebrough of the New York Rangers all in attendance to watch the Sens and the Montreal Canadiens.
“I don’t get the sense that there’s anything big happening there, but you know where there’s smoke there’s got to be some fire.”