The latest NHL trade rumors buzz has Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson requesting a trade. Here are three teams who could make sense for him.
Late on Friday, Jan. 12, the NHL trade rumors market got an unexpected addition. The Athletic revealed that Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson has requested a trade. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2017-18 season. This adds a rental defenseman to a fairly weak trade market.
This is a bit surprising for a few reasons. First of all, the Blue Jackets are contenders. Teams looking to make the postseason rarely have to deal with players wanting a trade. But Johnson is a special case.
He cites a decline of playing time as a major reason for requesting the trade. Most skaters would keep quiet for a few months in hopes of winning a Stanley Cup. However, money is more important for Johnson, for somewhat obvious reasons. He’s playing under 20 minutes per game for the first time in his career, as Zach Werenski and Seth Jones have earned a ton of playing time.
Recently, Markus Nutivaara has passed Johnson on the depth chart. Less playing time usually means less money. And for Johnson, money is important considering he’s been allowed to keep less than $500,000 over the past two seasons.
The Blue Jackets are not obligated to trade him. They might well decide to keep Johnson. The Blue Jackets have plenty of cap space and their defensive depth is young and inexperienced. Johnson leads Columbus in shorthanded TOI, so he still has value to them.
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