By Steven Smith @StevenPaul6 on May 23, 2014
With quite of bit of money in their possession this offseason, the Columbus Blue Jackets will have to invest most of it into their star player, Ryan Johansen. With a few key players they need to bring back beyond him, they will definitely have to "trim the fat". These five players will unfortunately not be back for Columbus in 2014-15.
Corey Tropp falls into that "trim the fat" category. He may only be 24 years old, but he only posted two goals in 53 games last season. His contract is nothing more than a roadblock for what Columbus wants to do this offseason.
I have the Blue Jackets parting ways with three defensemen this offseason. Prout is one of two guys who gets dumped for lack of talent. In 49 games last season, he finished with six points and a plus/minus of minus-7.
Jack Skille's situation is tricky. He actually didn't post too bad of numbers in the 16 games he played in last season. Four goals and a plus/minus rating of plus-2 is not all that bad. Unfortunately for him, this is a transaction Columbus throws into their "priorities" category.
Nick Schultz has the most undesirable set of skills on the Blue Jackets, plain and simple. In 69 games last year, he posted just five assists and had a minus-13 plus/minus rating.
This one will sting the Blue Jackets a little bit. Nikita Nikitin is a pretty solid defenseman. Last season he posted a plus-15 plus/minus rating and tallied 13 helpers in just 66 games, but I think some team is going to outbid Columbus for him. As said before, the Jackets will have to invest in Johansen. Money will be tight for them.
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