Report: RFA Josh Anderson wants out of Columbus (Update)

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With less than a week to go before the start of the 2017-18 regular season, Josh Anderson and the Columbus Blue Jackets have yet to come to terms on a contract extension.

Well, it sounds like the restricted free agent is sick of waiting for the right deal to be offered by Columbus. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Anderson has asked the Blue Jackets for a trade.

Here’s an excerpt from Friedman’s story:

Anderson, an improving player who took a big step last season, was expected to be an important piece in the team’s plans for 2017-18. The Blue Jackets worked hard to avoid exposing him in the NHL Expansion Draft and it’s believed they rejected Colorado’s requests to include him in any Matt Duchene.

But negotiations have been difficult. Anderson is a restricted free agent. On Tuesday, The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reported the team and player were “as little as $150,000 per year (apart) on a three-year contract — but both sides are standing firm on principle.”

The 23-year-old had 17 goals and 12 assists in 78 games during his first full year in the NHL. He also plays the game with a physical edge, which won’t hurt his value on the trade market.

Update: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen denied that Anderson has asked for a trade, according to Friedman.

“This trade request is news to me. And we are not looking to trade Josh Anderson,” said Kekalainen.

Whether or not the Blue Jackets want to deal him away is another story. The team holds all the cards in the negotiation, as the player’s rights are pretty minimal at this point. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen could easily decide to hold on to Anderson until he’s ready to sign whatever Columbus is offering.