The woeful Columbus Blue Jackets are staring at a high draft pick, is the tank on?

The rebuilding Columbus Blue Jackets are a woeful bunch. Tied with the Ottawa Senators at 7-12-1 for the worst record in the NHL, the Blue Jackets are in line for a high first round draft pick in next summer’s NHL Draft. Does that mean the tank is on? Perhaps or better yet, maybe it should. Last season the team was right around the .500 mark; the recession has caused the team to take a significant step backward.

Injuries are a part of the season for any team in any sport. The Columbus Blue Jackets have been hit hard by injuries. So hard that it is testing the organizational depth to mixed reviews. Emil Bemstrom, who was sent to Cleveland, was called up, and his play was still widely inconsistent. Brendan Gaunce was called up and has been pretty invisible on the ice. Trey Fix-Wolansky was brought up and has played the best out of all the call-ups.

While this season was never about wins/losses in Columbus, it was supposed to be about young player development. Yet, for some odd reason, Kent Johnson, Cole Sillinger, and Yegor Chinakov have seen their minutes limited, which is somewhat beyond comprehension. After all, those three players, in particular, were supposed to spearhead the Blue Jackets return to the playoffs.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are in desperate need of a top line center. Yes, team captain Boone Jenner is manning the top line, and yes, Jenner is not a center by trait. In next summer’s draft, there are two prospects who could help solve the Blue Jackets center issue.

Connor Bedard (Regina WHL) has been viewed as a top line center for some time now. He is a solid two-way player, even at 5′ 9″, and has a real physical presence in his game. Bedard is a well-rounded NHL-ready center.

The other center that is getting a lot of attention is the University of Michigan’s Adam Fantilli. Fantilli, at 6′ 2″, is an elite skater who competes hard and drives the play. Also, like Bedard, Fantilli is widely viewed as a player who will need little time to adjust to the NHL.

The Blue Jackets should not have regressed to this point, with a roster that was never constructed to reach the playoffs this season. At worst, they should have been closer to the .500 mark. Yet, as injuries began to pile up, the team did not have the manpower to withstand them.

So, would the Blue Jackets be better off just tanking the rest of this season and positioning themselves for one of the top centers? If it is a no from the organization, it should be a yes. Either Bedard or Fantilli would make the Blue Jackets a better team as soon as they step on the ice.

Some fans embrace the tank, and some fans rail against it, which is understandable when you consider, ticket, parking, and food costs. But, for the bigger picture of opening a longer playoff run, the tank justifies itself.

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
  2. The Final Countdown
  3. Here Come the Playoffs
  4. Home Stretch
  5. Kevy Cooks

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