Over the summer, the Blue Jackets stood pat with their young backend. Six games into the regular season and it is still a problem, and bigger one now.
Ryan Murray has not developed as expected due to a number of injuries since being drafted in 2012.
David Savard is still unproven yet he signed a long-term deal.
Kevin Connuaton had one solid month of offensive production, but is not really a defensive defenseman.
Cody Goloubef comes back and forth between the minors and main club, so he is an unknown.
Dalton Prout is an enforcer on the backend, which are very hard to find, but they are not the best defenseman because they try to antagonize the opponents instead of helping his club.
Jack Johnson is very good at both ends of the ice, but is more offensive than defensive.
Veteran Fedor Tyutin is the Jackets' defensive defenseman, but he makes mistakes and his engine is starting to burn out.
With this in mind, there are a couple options the Columbus Blue Jackets can do to help their defensive core:
1. Make a trade. There are plenty of teams that are in the market for improving their team on the backend- Edmonton and Philadelphia are two. Yet these two have defensemen on the trade block- ex-Jacket Nikita Niktin (EDM), Andrew MacDonald (PHI), Luke Schenn (PHI). A couple other defensemen that could wind up on the market are Roman Polak (TOR), Dan Boyle (NYR), Keith Yandle (NYR), Dustin Byfuglien (WPG), Dennis Sidenberg (BOS), and Zdeno Chara (BOS).
2. Free Agency- There is still a mediocre market of bottom-paring guys on the open market as a result of the salary cap and poor performances over the course of last season and training camps last month. Some UFAs include ex-CBJ Jan Hedja, Lubomir Visnovsky, Andrej Meszaros, Anton Volchkenov, Sergei Gonchar, and ex-Jacket Jordan Leopold.
3. Use Some Youngsters- Not the ones in the juniors or the development leagues, I mean the AHLers. There are a couple guys that may work in this scenario. A couple guys that may make sense include Justin Falk, Austin Madaisky, Oleg Yevenko, and Dillion Heatherington
Thanks for reading. More to come...