Bobrovsky, Panarin staying in Columbus for push into playoffs

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Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen maintains he did not want to trade either his star goalie or his young, talented winger. Even with late offers at the NHL trade deadline Monday, Kekalainen opted to keep his talented roster together and make a significant challenge for the franchise’s first-ever playoff victory. 

First thing’s first. The CBJ has to make the postseason. That process begins Tuesday against Pittsburgh, the team chasing Columbus in the Metropolitan Division standings. 

Earlier Monday the CBJ traded for veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid from the Rangers and goalie Keith Kinkaid from New Jersey. The Jackets traded a total of 3 draft picks between those two deals. McQuaid will play immediately and Kinkaid will fight for backup duties behind Bobrovsky. 

Kekalainen says due to the organization’s strength with young talent, he’s not concerned about the long-term vision for the team. That’s even if Bobrovsky, Panarin, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel all leave the team in free agency after the season. 

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