Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore has been having a roller coaster season.
In just the 20 games he’s played this year he’s got two goals and four assists and has a -8 plus/minus rating. They’re not thrilling numbers, but for a defensive shutdown guy like Commodore they’re somewhat expected, aside from the curious minus rating. Lately, he’s been a healthy scratch in seven of the last eight games Columbus has played. If you’re thinking a veteran defenseman like him is going to to take that sort of inaction happily, you’d be fooling yourself.
Today, Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports that Commodore is unhappy enough with his situation in Columbus that he’s demanded a trade. As you might expect, Commodore isn’t too pleased with how things are going.
“(Arniel) doesn’t want to play me. Obviously, he doesn’t want to play me. After wins, losses … it doesn’t matter. Obviously, I’m the seventh guy in his mind. So, I’m going to take care of myself, be a good teammate, work hard, practice hard and keep myself ready for whatever comes in the future.”
Jackets coach Scott Arniel has a different view on things and says that he doesn’t care about how much money a guy makes and that for now Commodore is the team’s seventh defenseman. On some teams that could be a factor of having great depth. In Columbus, it’s not quite like that as younger guys like Anton Stralman, Marc Methot, and Kris Russell are getting the playing time over him.
Commodore’s -8 rating, by the way, is tied with Kristian Huselius for second-worst on the team. Derek Dorsett’s -10 is still worse.
The one major hangup in trying to deal Commodore will be his salary. He’s got two years left on his deal after this one and his cap hit is a robust $3.75 million. Asking for another team to take him on with that sort of financial commitment is asking a lot, or it’s asking to take on another team’s high-priced problem elsewhere on the ice.
A change of scenery for Commodore could be the elixir he needs to get his game turned around, and there’s some teams with situations where he’d be helpful to what they have going on but whether or not they’d pull the trigger on a deal is debatable. In the cap world, finances mean almost as much as getting the right fit for your team.