We’re right back with another edition of Three Questions. With Ryan Dzingel traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets a day after Pierre Dorion and Jarmo Kekalainen pulled off the Duchene trade, Pale Dragon from The Cannon answers three questions to give us some perspective from the other side.
Q: How do you expect Ryan Dzingel will fit in the Blue Jackets’ lineup?
In the short term, I would put Dzingel in Duclair’s most recent position - at left wing on a line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Oliver Bjorkstrand. That’s assuming no more top 6 forwards are acquired by Monday.
2: Between the assets sent to acquire Matt Duchene, and the two 2nd round picks traded for Ryan Dzingel, is there any concern that Columbus is risking too much by mortgaging the future for more potential rentals?
Jarmo Kekalainen is definitely taking a risk. Assuming he keeps both Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky through the deadline, there’s a worst case scenario of four rentals leaving in the summer, leaving us without that talent and without these future assets. I think it’s worth it to take that risk because the roster now looks more equipped to make a deep playoff run. I also suspect that Duchene and Dzingel may be more likely to re-sign here. Duchene is a family man now, and Columbus has a reputation in the league for being a great place to raise a family. In the case of Dzingel, he’s already familiar with this town from his college years at THE Ohio State University.
3: Anthony Duclair’s tenure in Columbus was short-lived, only playing 52 games before this trade. Is Duclair still a valuable NHL player, or is the fact that he’s onto his fifth team at age 23 cause for concern?
Duclair is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma in a #91 jersey. He showed some offensive explosiveness at the start of the season and made us think “how could so many organizations have given up on him?” But then he found himself in and out of the lineup and frequently in Torts’ doghouse. He had some very harsh words regarding Duclair in a pregame presser on Tuesday (in Duclair’s hometown!)
Is that just Torts being Torts? A little bit. But you could see that Duclair lacked situation awareness at times and could be lackadaisical away from the puck. His offensive skillset is enough for teams to continue taking a chance on him, but he won’t stick someplace until he improves the rest of his game.
Thanks once again to the folks over at The Cannon for giving us some insight. You can read Pale Dragon’s writing and other Blue Jackets content over on The Cannon.