Blue Jackets RFA Josh Anderson contacts Hockey Canada about Olympics

Tim and Sid discuss whether people will still watch the Olympics despite the NHL electing to skip the tournament.

The NHL’s regular season is right around the corner yet Columbus Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson remains an unsigned restricted free agent.

According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, this has resulted in the Burlington, Ont., native’s representatives reaching out to Hockey Canada to inquire about the possibility of Anderson donning the red and white maple leaf at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics.

Anderson scored 17 goals and added 13 assists last year in his first full season with the Blue Jackets, but he and his agent, Darren Ferris, are finding it difficult coming to terms on a new deal with the team that selected him in the fourth round of the 2012 draft.

“Word is the Jackets want a three-year term to protect against Anderson’s upcoming salary arbitration eligibility, but the two sides are nowhere close on value,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wrote in his latest 31 Thoughts column.

The NHL announced earlier this year it would not allow its players to participate in the upcoming Games.

“We’re not anti-Olympics, we’re anti-disruption to the season,” NHL commissioner Bettman said in May.

The league’s deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, added in August that “all players under NHL contract will be subject to similar treatment,” including players in the American Hockey League and ECHL on two-way deals or players loaned to minor-league affiliates.