Moves coming in Columbus, Edmonton, Raleigh?
The Columbus Blue Jackets are open for business.
GM Scott Howson has seen enough and signaled his intentions in a solid column by Bob Hunter in Wednesday’s Columbus Dispatch.
I reached out to Howson on Wednesday to follow up, and his feelings certainly had not changed. The GM was willing to forgive his lineup in the opening six weeks with so many faces missing because of injury or suspension, but since then it’s been mostly a healthy lineup and the Jackets have remained stuck in the basement.
“We haven’t played well in the last 2 to 3 weeks and it’s given us a little bit more clarity,” Howson told ESPN.com.
So trades are coming.
“We’re going to be open to discussions, yes,” Howson said. “There’s nothing imminent right now; I don’t have anything on the burner right now. But certainly between now and over the next couple of months, we’re going to be very active, yes.”
Rick Nash isn’t going anywhere, but what about Jeff Carter?
“I have no intention of trading Jeff at this point,” Howson said.
That’s not going to stop other teams from calling about Carter, however.
Otherwise, Howson will be open to almost anything. While the GM refused to name specific players, one has to assume Derick Brassard will be in play, given the controversy earlier in December with the forward’s agent, Allan Walsh, hammering coach Scott Arniel over the usage of his client.
Brassard has two more years on his deal past this season, paying him $3.2 million a year.
Your typical rental players should be available, the likes of Vaclav Prospal, Sammy Pahlsson and Kristian Huselius, all unrestricted free agents July 1.
Either way, interesting times are ahead in Columbus.
Oilers on the move?
If you’re looking for a big name who could possibly move by the Feb. 27 trade deadline, circle Ales Hemsky.