One team that was disappointed to see Matt Duchene land with the Ottawa Senators was the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were during a major part of the summer involved in talks in hopes of acquiring a top-six centre this season.
According to NHL insider Pierre LeBrun, the Jackets remain in the market for a centre before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, with their target aiming a different way. LeBrun’s colleague Aaron Portzline has revealed that Columbus will continue to take a look at Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk, whose name keeps being mentioned in trade chatter.
But another interesting name has been floating around and the Jackets will want to keep an eye on it. The Edmonton Oilers might be willing to move their former first round pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who would be a great addition to the Blue Jackets' roster.
"Clearly, [GM Karmo] Kekalainen thought it best to wait for new developments instead of going all in on Duchene," writes Portzline.
The cost of trying to land New York Islanders captain John Tavares might be too much, and another reason why Kekalainen will look to Edmonton. Portzline speculates it could cost the Jackets “(Pierre-Luc) Dubois, Gabriel Carlsson, Sonny Milano, Elvis Merzlikins and a first-round pick.” If they can’t re-sign him, “Carlsson, Milano and a first-round pick."
So RNH might be the best option for Columbus right now, but there will be heavy competition for the young forward. The Boston Bruins are also eyeing the market for a top-nine forward, along with the Anaheim Ducks and the New York Rangers.