The Blue Jackets' annual offseason search for a skilled defenseman might compel them to make a huge offer to unrestricted free agent Jay Bouwmeester.
It's unclear if Bouwmeester — after six years playing for the Florida Panthers — would consider signing on with another club in a non-traditional hockey market.
But the Blue Jackets, unlike lots of other NHL clubs, have the salary cap room to make a significant offer, upwards of $6 million per season. However, the Blue Jackets' power play was the worst in the NHL last season.
And the Jackets certainly have a need.
The Blue Jackets' blue line is made up of stay-at-home checking types — Mike Commodore, Jan Hejda, Fedor Tyutin, Rostislav Klesla are the current top four. The only player with an ounce of offensive skill is second-year pro Kris Russell, who might still be a season or two away from significant point production.