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February 25, 2014 | 9:45pm ET
Blue Jackets eyeing defensive help
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets plan on being buyers between now and the trade deadline, and one area they'd like to upgrade is their blueline.

Sitting within striking distance of a playoff spot, the Blue Jackets are hoping to improve their chances of playing in the post-season.

Even prior to blueliner Fedor Tyutin being sidelined for the next two-to-three weeks with an ankle sprain suffered during the Winter Olympics, Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen had started to explore the possibility of acquiring a defenseman.

The Blue Jackets already boast a solid defensive corps, led by Jack Johnson, James Wisniewski and youngster Ryan Murray, but an upgrade could be on the horizon.

New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald has been highly coveted by several teams, and the Blue Jackets have reportedly inquired about his availability.

MacDonald, 27, makes the least amount of money among the available defensemen on the trade market and is a pending unrestricted free agent.

In addition to MacDonald, the Blue Jackets may also have interest in Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler, who has a no-trade clause.

The Canucks have shown interest in right wing Marian Gaborik, though it's unclear if the two teams have discussed a swap involving him and Edler. If such a deal were being discussed, the Blue Jackets would need to sweeten the pot a fair bit, as Gaborik is a pending unrestricted free agent and Edler is locked into a long-term contract.

Kekalainen is also believed to be in the market for a depth winger, though nothing appears to be imminent.

The trade deadline arrives on March 5 at 3pm ET.


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