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January 20, 2014 | 12:28pm ET
Blue Jackets in buying mode
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, having won six straight, and they appear to be in a position to add to their roster.

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is actively scouring the market looking for help at both ends of the rink.

While the Blue Jackets are 11th in the NHL in goals per game (2.79), they're also 19th in the League in goals-against per game (also 2.79), an area in which the team would like to address, as well as help up front.

Kekalainen is interested in adding a top-six winger to his lineup and a defensive-minded forward, and could look to bolster his blueline by the March 5 trade deadline.

The Blue Jackets have some young pieces they appear willing to move, along with some draft picks, but the team will not part with its top-tier prospects for a rental player. In fact, it's believed Columbus is looking for players signed beyond this season.

It has been widely speculated that Kekalainen will try to trade right wing Marian Gaborik, who is in the final-year of his contract and is rehabbing from a broken collarbone, by the deadline, and that could be an attractive piece for contending teams.

Gaborik has played in just 18 games with the Blue Jackets this season and has tallied five goals and seven assists for 12 points.

The Blue Jackets do not have much salary cap space and trading Gaborik and his $7.5 million cap hit would give the team plenty of room to maneuver, even though they will get some relief with Gaborik on long-term IR.


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