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February 26, 2013 | 11:53am ET
Blue Jackets evaluating options
TheFourthPeriod.com

As injuries continue to mount in Columbus, the Blue Jackets have fallen to last place in the Western Conference and last in the entire NHL.

While the team has shown certain bright spots this season, losing second-overall selection Ryan Murray right off the bat to shoulder surgery hurt their plans.

Add to that the recent injuries to forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisomov, and defenseman Jack Johnson, and the news today that will be out indefinitely with a broken bone in his foot, the club's season could already be over.

New GM Jarmo Kekalainen has plenty of work to do this season and this summer. With three first-round draft picks, he has plenty of flexibility to bolster his club in both the short- and long-term.

The Blue Jackets held trade calls prior to Kekalainen coming in to replace Scott Howson.

Last season, the Blue Jackets almost traded defenseman Fedor Tyutin, and could revisit those discussions this season.

Tyutin, 29, has four-years remaining on his current contract, with an annual salary cap hit of $4.5 million. He owns a no-movement clause, and would have to approve any deal the team tries to make.

Kekalainen has spoken with all of his 29 counterparts, he told Columbus Dispatch beat reporter Aaron Portzline earlier today.

"I got through the book yesterday," he said.

Several teams have inquired about center Derick Brassard, the club's leading scorer, though it's unclear if Kekalainen will entertain the idea of moving him.

If the Blue Jackets fail to make up any ground in the coming weeks, they could be very active prior to the April 3 trade deadline.

In addition to Tyutin, the Kekalainen could field offers for left wing Vinny Prospal and center R.J. Umberger.

Prospal, who is in the final year of his current contract, has a no-movement clause and Umberger has a no-trade clause. Like Tyutin, they would have to approve any deal the team tries to make.

Umberger, 30, has four years remaining on his contract, with a cap hit of $4.6 million.

It will also be interesting to see what the Blue Jackets do with left wing Nick Foligno, who was brought in to help spark the offense.

Foligno, who was traded for defenseman Marc Methot in the off-season, has only picked up two goals and four assists in 19 games.


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