In one word, Josh Anderson’s future in Columbus is “iffy”. A player the organization had/has high hopes for is getting a lot of attention these days because of his contract situation.
As Aaron Portzline of The Athletic writes, “the feeling around the NHL is that Anderson is more likely to be traded — either by the NHL trade deadline (less likely) or after the season (more likely) — than he is to be re-signed by the Blue Jackets.”
Why Is Anderson a Possible Trade Candidate?
Some will immediately think back to the tough negotiations between the Blue Jackets and Anderson back in 2016. But, Anderson’s agent, Darren Ferris and Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen say there is no lingering resentment from the talks (or lack thereof) that forced Anderson to miss all of training camp that year. Instead, it’s his current contract that opposing GMs find intriguing and reports are they’ve been poking around on Anderson for a while now.
Portzline writes that as a pending restricted free agent, teams like that they’ll have another year of control if they acquire Anderson. And, as a UFA next year, he’s also somewhat of a rental. “This is why most NHL executives, reached by The Athletic, indicated they expect Anderson to be traded either by the Feb. 24 trade deadline or over the summer, say, at the NHL Draft,” Portzline writes.
Related: Muzzin Comments on Maple Leafs Contract Talks and Alec Martinez Rumors
Questions Remain in Columbus
If Anderson were tearing it up as he did a couple a seasons ago it might seem more likely the Blue Jackets see if Anderson has a desire to stay in Columbus long-term. But, because he’s not repeating that success and because of two injury absences, questions about his future with the organization remain.
Anderson would need to return to the roster and literally light it up and, even if he does so, that might be enough to get another team keenly interested in acquiring him.
Related: [Trade Rumor] Oilers Have Called Kings and Devils About Significant Forwards
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