32-year-old forward Nick Foligno is a popular player this week. He’s the kind of guy the Columbus Blue Jackets don’t want to get rid of because of his leadership and legacy in Columbus, but he’s also the kind of player other teams would be interested in prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on April 12th.
But, regardless of whether or not the Blue Jackets are seriously considering a move that would send him to another team before Monday, a conversation will be had between the organization and the player to ensure this is something Foligno really wants to do.
While he’s got a 10-team no-trade contract that allows him some control over where he ultimately goes, the Blue Jackets are going to do more than simply respect that and ask for his 10 teams. The two sides will talk and make sure this is really worth exploring.
According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Foligno has commented on the possibility of him being moved. “We’ll have a conversation if something does come up,” Foligno said. “It’s hard for me to say. I’ve not really been in this position. If there’s something that needs to be presented, we’ll talk. Otherwise, I’m just going to go about my business the way I always have.”
Portzline adds that there are few teams where a conversation may be warranted. He notes:
Colorado, Toronto, Minnesota and the New York Islanders are believed to be interested in Foligno, but there will likely be other suitors, too. A trade to the Wild would allow Foligno to play with his brother, Marcus Foligno, who’s currently out of the lineup with an injury.
If something serious comes out of talks with those teams, GM Jarmo Kekalainen will go to Foligno and chat about it. But, without Foligno’s approval, nothing will go further.
Still, expect that conversation to happen in the next two days as the Blue Jackets look to be sellers ahead of the deadline. They’ve lost traction in the NHL standings and key injuries are going to make it even harder for them to catch up.
Foligno Could Always Return to Blue Jackets
Portzline also notes, that a source indicated to The Athletic Foligno would be open to re-signing with the Blue Jackets in the summer as an unrestricted free agent after he’s had a kick at the Stanley Cup with another club.
A deal, if one were made, is about giving the forward a shot at a Stanley Cup. If he doesn’t win, he can decide if he wants to come back home or try again.
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