When the Columbus Blue Jackets were able to bring Marian Gaborik on board last year at the trade deadline, it signaled a culture shift for the team. The talented sniper had waived his no-trade clause to leave the New York Rangers for Ohio, and he immediately became (arguably) the second-best forward to ever lact up the skates for the Jackets.
After nearly making the playoffs last season, Columbus appeared poised to take a step forward in their slow and steady rebuild. They brought in Nathan Horton as a free agent—another player who left a big market in Boston to head to the Midwest—and had several exciting young players moving up.
This season was supposed to be different for the Jackets, yet it hasn’t been.
The names and numbers on the back of the sweaters continue to rotate and change, but the outcome is the same: Columbus missing the playoffs and drafting high. Sergei Bobrovsky received a lot of credit for the success of the Jackets last season, but no one saw this much regression coming.
Gaborik is at the center of it all at this point. His contract is up at the end of the season, and with the Jackets going nowhere fast with Gaborik not scoring, the team understandably has no interest in talking extension with the forward according to TheFourthPeriod.com.
In fact, the team could have the exact opposite in mind if Columbus continues to sink down the standings.
Barring a dramatic change, I see no chance #CBJ even attempt to re-sign Marian Gaborik, will look to move him at trade deadline or sooner.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) November 14, 2013
Just one year after making a splash as buyers at the trade deadline, the Jackets are well on their way to being sellers once again. New names, same story for Columbus.