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Rumor: Jackets poised to trade for controversial forward

With Duchene talks dead, the Jackets turn to another star center

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In his latest “Ask Porty” mailbag article for The Athletic, Columbus Blue Jackets beat reporter Aaron Portzline addresses the team’s need for depth at the center ice position and takes a closer look at controversial Montreal Canadiens youngster Alex Galchenyuk.

The 23-year-old Galchenyuk is off to a dreadful start to his season, along with the rest of the Habs, with just two goals and no assists through nine games. Earlier this week reports surfaced that he may have been undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, obviously a condition that may have affected his play. 

In any case, could Galchenyuk be the answer the the Jackets’ need down the middle of the ice? Portzline’s not so sure:

That’s a name to keep in mind, a guy who could be on the move here this season. Problem is, I don’t know if he’s seen as a proven center or a more capable player on the wing. It’s not an ideal fit, but not out of the realm of possibility, either. 

What’s more likely however is that head coach John Tortorella auditions rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois at his natural position to see how he handles things. If it’s clear that he can’t handle the workload, look for GM Jarmo Kekalainen to get more aggressive on the trade front.