Columbus Blue Jackets Rumors: 3 Offseason Left Defense Targets

The Columbus Blue Jackets want to have a quick turnaround from this disastrous season. To do that, they are going to have to bolster some areas of their team, starting with their defense. After trading Vladislav Gavrikov at the trade deadline, their defense got even weaker. They are a young team, but they will also need some proven and stable contributors.

It makes the most sense that they would add to the left side as Andrew Peeke, Adam Boqvist, and Erik Gudbranson line the right side while the team could use an upgrade over Nick Blankenburg or Jake Bean. Let's see who's out there for the Blue Jackets to target.

Joel Edmundson

It's no secret that the Blue Jackets need help defending while they could also use someone who has been around for a while. Joel Edmundson and the situation in Montreal with the number of left-shot defensemen they have works out perfectly for Columbus.

The Canadiens were looking to trade Edmundson at the deadline, but nothing happened. As the young defensemen are expected to be healthy and fill the lineup, there won't be enough for all of them and Edmundson would be the most likely moved for assets. The Canadiens are young and with one year left on his deal at a fair price, the Blue Jackets could use the services of Edmundson on the second or third pair to help shut down the opposition.

Alec Martinez

If the Blue Jackets want to pay extra and have more cap space eaten up, Alec Martinez is an even better option for them to target in the offseason for their left side. The Vegas Golden Knights are once again going to be in a cap crunch and have a number of contributors on the back-end.

Martinez has one year left on his deal at $5.25 million, but he is a very good defender. The Golden Knights may struggle with the thought of parting ways with him, but he's also 35 and may be a necessary move to keep other players around for longer. He blocks a ton of shots which could really help in keeping the Blue Jackets' goals against down from where it has been.

Sam Girard

Just like the Golden Knights, the Colorado Avalanche are also going to be in a cap crunch and have to move some money out. The most likely candidate for this is Sam Girard. He's making $5 million AAV for four more years and still has one more year of no trade protection. The Avalanche will need to sign RFAs like Bowen Byram and Alex Newhook, while Nathan MacKinnon's new contract is kicking in.

It makes little sense for the Avalanche to be paying five defensemen top-four salaries. The Blue Jackets could really benefit from the need to move Girard as they would have him under contract for an ideal number of years, he can put up points, and is a great speedy puck-moving defenseman. He may not be an elite defender, but something the team also really lacked was offense from their back-end.

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