After signing Cam Atkinson to a new seven-year extension, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets have redoubled their efforts in search of a center to add to their lineup. Knowing exactly what Atkinson will be making down the road, and that he’ll be a fixture in the top-six for a long while allows the team to more accurately pursue players that will fit into their salary structure. We’d previously heard that they had made an offer for Matt Duchene, clearly showing their interest in chasing the big fish on the market. GM Jarmo Kekalainen is currently at the GM Meetings in Montreal, always an event that is watched with a close eye for potential trade talk.

It’s unclear who exactly the Blue Jackets would be pursuing, as Duchene and Kyle Turris represented the top two center names expected to be traded. While some teams may still consider Alex Galchenyuk a center, much of the rental market—that is, players who are unrestricted free agents at the end of the year—and known trade candidates reside on the wing. There are names like Joe Thornton, John Tavares, Paul Stastny and Henrik Sedin all set to hit the open market but none of them seem like realistic trade candidates at this point.