Columbus GM expects to be trading away players

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Apparently firing coach Scott Arniel was only the beginning.

Columbus general manager Scott Howson told reporters today to expect more personnel moves in an effort to salvage something from the Blue Jackets’ disastrous season. (Or, at the very least, cut payroll and mitigate what are sure to be significant financial losses for ownership.)

“We anticipate that we will be trading away some of our players,” Howson said.

Though the embattled GM wouldn’t specify, the potential trade candidates are many:

Pending UFA forward Vaclav Prospal has playoff rental written all over him.

Forward Samuel Pahlsson might not be worth his $2.65 million cap hit, but with an expiring contract, the veteran could be a worthwhile addition for a playoff team at the deadline. Remember, cap space isn’t an issue for a lot of contenders.

Forwards RJ Umberger, Antoine Vermette and Derrick Brassard – along with defenseman Marc Methot – are each signed for multiple more years, but neither has a no-trade clause.

Rick Nash has been at the center of trade speculation, though Howson has denied interest in moving his star forward.

Jeff Carter has a no-trade clause; however, that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t waive it to get the hell out of, er, if Columbus wanted to move him.