It sounds like Wisniewski is doing his best to stay in Columbus
Every sign points to the Columbus Blue Jackets wanting to trade James Wisniewski, but the defenseman is doing what he can to avoid such a fate, as the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reports.
The 31-year-old is cleverly trying to use his 10-team no-trade clause to kill trade possibilities. According to Portzline, Wisniewski is approving teams with limited cap space and/or a lack of defensive needs to try to avoid being traded.
(Wisniewski’s $5.5 million cap hit runs through the 2016-17 season.)
If true, it represents a stark contrast between no-trade clauses for potential trade deadline targets. At one end of the spectrum, you have Wisniewski trying to wiggle out of a move; on the other, Dennis Seidenberg is shrugging his shoulders and saying “If my team doesn’t want me, I don’t want to be here.”
Portzline points out another interesting wrinkle to this situation:
Another peculiar twist: Bill Zito was Wisniewski's agent at time of his rights trade to Columbus, and the signing of his 6-year, $33M deal.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) February 25, 2015
Interesting stuff, huh?
One can understand why Wisniewski wants to stay. The Blue Jackets are dealing with what might be a bad-luck-infested bump in the road, as the team’s shown glimpses of being competitive even with a ridiculous slew of injuries.
Beyond that, it’s possible he’s put down roots in Ohio and simply is tired of uprooting his life. Here’s a quick road map of his career so far:
2005-06 to 2007-08: Chicago Blackhawks
2008-09: Part of the season with Chicago, part with the Anaheim Ducks
2009-10: Anaheim Ducks
2010-11: Bounced from Anaheim to the New York Islanders to the Montreal Canadiens
2011-12: Signs long-term deal with Columbus
That’s not “Mark Arcobello playing for four different NHL teams” material, but Wisniewski indeed faced quite a bit of turmoil a few years ago.
Players only have so much power to avoid moves they don’t want, and it could get awkward if Columbus really wants to get rid of Wisniewski. It appears as if he’s doing what’s within his limited rights to stick with his team, though.