Conflicting Reports on Brandon Dubinsky
The Dubinsky situation remains unclear. Here is what we know. Dubinsky injured his eye in a fight with Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian in mid-December and has not played since. However, things seemed to be progressing, and it seemed that Dubinsky would be back in the lineup on Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes. Plans changed sometime on Tuesday, before the Jackets game against the Vegas Golden Knights. Dubinsky returned to Columbus, and the exact reason for that and when he will rejoin the team is unknown.
It should also be noted that coach John Tortorella removed the alternate captaincy from Dubinsky earlier in the season. This was as a disciplinary measure.
Aaron Portzline of the Athletic and George Richards of the Columbus Post-Dispatch both report that he was sent home for disciplinary reasons and personal issues. Portzline went further in indicating that this has hampered Dubinsky all season. He also said that it could be career ending. Meanwhile, Dubinsky’s agent claims that this is related to the eye injury and that he will return after the all-star break. The team is not commenting officially on the move.
Dubinsky has three goals and 12 points in 31 games for the Blue Jackets this season. His lack of offensive production has been a big reason that Columbus is said to be shopping hard for a centre prior to the trade deadline.
Cam Atkinson Returns
The Jackets got some good news on Wednesday. Winger Cam Atkinson has been skating, and reports indicate that he will return to the lineup on Thursday. To make room on the roster, the Jackets are returning Tyler Motte to the AHL. Atkinson has six goals and 13 points in 32 games this season.
Nathan Gerbe Signs
The Blue Jackets also made an addition to the roster on Tuesday, signing free agent forward Nathan Gerbe. Gerbe has spent the last year and a half playing in Switzerland. In 2015-16 he played 47 games for the Carolina Hurricanes. He scored three goals and seven points. The diminutive forward had his best season in 2010-11, where he scored 16 goals and 31 points in 64 games for the Buffalo Sabres. He repeated those numbers in Carolina in 2013-14, but over 81 games.
They also sent defenceman John Ramage to the Arizona Coyotes for future considerations.