The Columbus Blue Jackets made franchise history last season, reaching 50 wins and 108 points in a highly competitive Metropolitan Division.
Their campaign included a winning streak of 16 games and putting up 10 goals against the Montreal Canadiens. Consider last season a sizable step forward for this young group and a bounce-back year for goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, the Vezina Trophy winner.
Not only was their goalie recognized, but coach John Tortorella won the Jack Adams Award — several months after oddsmakers stated he’d be the first coach fired last season.
Despite a terrific regular season, the Blue Jackets were bested in the opening round by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who would eventually move on to win the Stanley Cup.
Following their playoff defeat, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen pulled off a blockbuster deal with Chicago GM Stan Bowman, as Columbus acquired 2016 rookie of the year Artemi Panarin, forward Tyler Motte and a draft pick in exchange for Brandon Saad, goalie Anton Forsberg and a draft pick next year.
In Panarin, the Blue Jackets get a 25-year-old forward that has reached the 30-goal mark in each of his first two NHL seasons while getting to play on a line with Patrick Kane in Chicago. He also has two more years remaining on his current contract, which carries an annual $6 million cap hit, per CapFriendly.
Columbus also acquired Jordan Schroeder from the Wild and signed him to a two-year contract extension, and bought out veteran forward Scott Hartnell. On Monday, the Blue Jackets signed college free agent defender Doyle Somerby.
Today at PHT, we’ll discuss the key storylines facing the Blue Jackets as training camp approaches.