2022-23 NHL preview: Columbus Blue Jackets

Welcome to the 2022-23 season preview as brought to you by Betway Sports. We’ll be taking a dive into each teams offseason and what their Stanley Cup odds are for next season from the worst odds to the best. All odds current as of the time of writing.

Columbus Blue Jackets Stanley Cup Odds: +12500

I’m a little surprised the Blue Jackets are tied for the second worst odds as they made the biggest splash of the offseason to date inking Johnny Gaudreau to a seven-year deal carrying an AAV of $9.75-million.

At the draft, the Blue Jackets took defenceman David Jiricek sixth overall, and dipped back into the defensive market taking Denton Mateychuk 12th overall. Backend depth is something this club dearly needed, and both project to be very good NHL players.

The acquisition of Gaudreau, however, put them in a tough position forcing their hand by selling low on Oliver Bjorkstrand. The eighth highest scorer in franchise history, he was dealt to the Seattle Kraken for a pair of mid-round picks. Simply put, he was a victim of the salary cap.

While they got the ink dry on a four-year deal with RFA Patrik Laine, they also made a head-scratching move giving defenceman Erik Gudbranson a four-year deal paying him $4 million a year. I get the premise of being a team that’s harder to play against, but this was one of the most egregious signings of the offseason.

Are we betting on the Blue Jackets to win the cup? No. While they brought in Gaudreau, the truth is this is a team far from competing in a stacked Metro division.