After making the Stanley Cup Playoffs for only the second time in franchise history a season ago, and extending the Pittsburgh Penguins to six games before being eliminated in the Eastern Conference First Round, much was expected of the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.
General manager Jarmo Kekalainen might be disappointed with where the Blue Jackets stand, 12th in the Eastern Conference entering their game Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers and 13 points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild-card spot in the East, but that doesn't mean he's looking to make major changes to his roster as the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline closes in at 3 p.m. ET on March 2.
"I don't think we're in a situation where we need to blow things up or anything like that, not from a contractual point of view or any other point of view," Kekalainen said, according to ESPN.com. "I think that we'll just evaluate whatever opportunity might come our way before the deadline."
Forwards Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert have attracted attention from other teams, according to the report, and forward Mark Letestu is in the final season of his contract.
However, the Blue Jackets could be content to stand pat and hope a roster that has been decimated by injuries to key players including goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, forwards Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner, and defenseman Ryan Murray, returns healthy in 2015-16 and is able to build upon the promise shown one spring ago.
"We haven't seen our team healthy all year, that's a fact," Kekalainen said. "That would be nice if we could see it before the end of the year and see where we're at, make that assessment. We believed in this team at the start of the season and we still believe that we have some pretty good parts moving forward into the future.
"Having said that, we're always still looking to improve. If there's something that we can do to improve the team in the long term, we'll certainly look at that."