The Columbus Blue Jackets made a preemptive move on Saturday.
Ahead of the lockout, the Blue Jackets sent forwards Cody Bass, Nick Drazenovich, Andrew Joudrey and Ryan Russell and defenseman Nick Holden to their AHL affiliate team, the Springfield Falcons. The five were placed on waivers on Friday and were cleared on Saturday.
Along with the five cleared on waivers, there are other players from the Blue Jackets, either on entry-level contracts or not requiring waivers, heading to Springfield. They are:
- Forwards: Cam Atkinson, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Matt Calvert, Michael Chaput, Sean Collins, Oliver Gabriel, Jake Hansen, Ryan Johansen, Tomas Kubalik and Dalton Smith
- Defensemen: Anton Blomqvist, Tim Erixon, Cody Goloubef, Austin Madaisky, John Moore, Dalton Prout, Theo Ruth, David Savard and Will Weber
- Goalies: Allen York
Atkinson is familiar with the Falcons, as he was on that team before being called up to the Blue Jackets last season. In 51 games, Atkinson recorded 29 goals and 44 points.
One player the Blue Jackets anticipate sending to Springfield is goalie Curtis McElhinney, who will be sharing goaltending duties with York. The Blue Jackets will likely wait and sign McElhinney to an AHL-only contract after the lockout begins. This is permitted by the AHL provided the player was eligible for their playoffs last season.
Meanwhile, first-round draft pick Ryan Murray has already been sent back to the WHL’s Everett Silvertips and has begun participating in training camp. Once the lockout ends, Murray will report to the Blue Jackets’ training camp and either make the cut or be sent back to his junior team yet again.
Training camp for the Springfield Falcons begins on September 28.