The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded defenseman James Wisniewski and a third-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for winger Rene Bourque, center William Karlsson and a second-round pick in 2015.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just when it seemed Wisniewski would block attempts by the Blue Jackets to trade him, they find a destination he was willing to be dealt to. Wisniewski spent a couple of seasons with the Ducks but he’s returning to a club that has largely changed since he was last there five years ago. He brings plenty of skill and experience to the Ducks blueline, as well as a right-handed shot, which they’ve been in the market for since the start of the season. Wisniewski has a couple of seasons left on his contract at a cap hit of $5.5 million annually so he’s not a rental player.
To make this deal work, the Blue Jackets had to take on Bourque’s contract, which has a year remaining at a cap hit of $3.3 million, though they still save about $2.2 million annually for next season. Bourque is a very inconsistent scorer and will have to improve next season if he hopes to have a future in Columbus. Karlsson is a young center who has promise as a two-way player and could be a good fit with the young Jackets.