Category Archives: Colombus Blue Jackets
Nathan Horton's deal with CBJ is 7 years, $37.1 ($5.3 AAV) but he gets $30M in first 5 years.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 5, 2013
Forward Nathan Horton, one of the top NHL free agents available this summer, was in Columbus today to visit with the Blue Jackets and tour Nationwide Arena, The Dispatch has learned.
The Blue Jackets were among the first NHL clubs to take advantage of a two-day window in which players can visit and negotiate with clubs. The two sides can agree to terms, but no contracts can be signed until Friday.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) June 30, 2013
NHL trade deadline primer: Western Conference
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: Since GM Scott Howson was fired, the Jackets have gone on a pretty good run. President John Davidson has said publicly nobody is off limits, but they’ve remained in the hunt. Names available include D Adrian Aucoin, C Derek Brassard and C Vinny Prospal.
DALLAS STARS: There is a lot of heat on GM Joe Nieuwendyk. He hasn’t made a good trade since he took over and any move he makes now is pivotal. Lots of teams are interested in C Derek Roy, RW Jaromir Jagr, C Ray Whitney and LW Brendan Morrow. Are the Stars ready to throw in the towel? Could be it for Nieuwendyk.
DETROIT RED WINGS: The Wings would have been upset to see Perry re-sign with the Ducks. They were prepared to make a big pitch in July. They have depth, but the Wings need to get a star. That’s not going to happen at this deadline because they aren’t just one player away from a Cup run.
EDMONTON OILERS: GM Steve Tambellini has a decision to make: Does he buy or sell? The Oilers have a shot at the playoffs, but can they stay there? None of the young players are available so no need for teams to ask. D Ryan Whitney is available and so is C Sam Gagner, who could fetch help.
There’s a better possibility they’ll be sellers, even with the club — as of today — in the hunt.
The players most talked about will be the following:
Is Kekalainen in the market?
“We will look at any way possible of improving our team,” he said. “You guys are going to get sick of hearing me say that.”
Rather than hitting the scouting trail, Kekalainen has been sticking close to the Jackets since he arrived in Columbus. It is an indication that his first priority is the trade deadline. He is figuring out which players he wants to keep and which to discard.
Does Kekalainen yet have a read on his team?
The NHL trade deadline expires in less than a month.
The Penguins may again me be looking to strike before it by moving a young defenseman.
Simon Despres, 21, is available – and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ three senior members of hockey operations attended the Penguins’ 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center on Monday night.
New general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, his assistant Chris MacFarland, and senior advisor Craig Patrick – who preceded Ray Shero as Penguins general manager – watched the game from the media level.
The Blue Jackets, looking for top six forward help even before they traded franchise winger Rick Nash in July, attempted to make a splash in free agency by signing an NHL legend.
Detroit, to nobody’s surprise, is on Rick Nash’s short list of approved destinations. And the Red Wings, naturally, would love to land the high-scoring forward.
The Red Wings made “a hell of an offer” to Columbus for Nash, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. But the offer generated no conversation.
No counteroffer, no back and forth negotiation, nothing.
It is clear Columbus has no intention of trading the face of its franchise to the team it considers to be its top rival, a Detroit club that has dominated the Blue Jackets since they entered the NHL in 2000-01.
The last thing Columbus general manager Scott Howson wants to see is Nash being paired with Pavel Datsyuk and his Blue Jackets having to deal with that scenario six times a season.
It is not certain what the Red Wings offered. Howson recently told TSN’s Geno Reda that he is seeking at least two NHL-ready forwards in return for Nash because he likes his defense.
The Red Wings, in need of a top-pair defenseman, would be more inclined to relinquish a couple of NHL forwards in addition to prospects and draft picks.
Which forwards might the Red Wings move to get a franchise player like Nash? The two that come to mind are Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula, though it’s unlikely Detroit would deal both.
The Rick Nash saga chugs on, and with this scary possibility — it might just be getting started.
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson hoped the first few days of free agency — specifically the signing of free-agent winger Zach Parise — would spur the marketplace toward more serious trade offers for the Columbus winger and team captain.
But Howson has maintained that he won’t trade Nash for less than “market value,” even if the saga drags well into July, even into August, and yes, even into the start of training camp in September.
Parise was signed by the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, but as of late last night, Howson did not seem any closer to reaching a deal.
Howson has declined to speak publicly regarding Nash the past two days, and Nash’s agent, Toronto-based Joe Resnick, hasn’t spoken extensively in months. Nash has declined to speak to reporters since April 7, the last game of the season.
The Dispatch confirmed yesterday that the Boston Bruins are on Nash’s list of approved clubs, joining the New York Rangers, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and San Jose.
As of yesterday, the list hardly mattered for two reasons: First, Howson has listened to offers from all 29 clubs, hoping that Nash — eager to avoid a messy spat — would relent and broaden his list. And, second, because Howson hasn’t come close to trading Nash.
The general tone from GMs around the NHL is that Howson is asking too high a price for a player he is being forced to trade. The Blue Jackets, who never scored enough goals even with Nash in the lineup, figure to struggle mightily once their franchise player is gone, so they’re hopeful of getting at least one NHL-ready forward in return.
Zach Parise’s decision to sign with the Minnesota Wild, along with Ryan Suter, got everyone’s attention on Wednesday. Thirteen-year, $98 million deals tend to do that and it was quite the package deal.
Now, the attention turns to Rick Nash.
The Canes are pushing hard to make a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the All-Star winger and are thought to have made a strong offer. But the Pittsburgh Penguins, spurned by Parise, could ratchet up the ante.
Pens general manager Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he wants a winger to play with center Sidney Crosby. Shero said that could come in free agency or a trade. If it’s a trade, he said, it has to make sense.
Nash appears to be the No. 1 target. If not Nash, maybe Shane Doan of Phoenix. Or Alexander Semin.
Which all sounds familiar. Sounds as if the Canes and Pens — and some others — could be in lock step approaching CBJ general manager Scott Howson about Nash.
Nash has a no-movement clause in his contract. The Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday that five teams — Pens, Rangers, Flyers, Red Wings and Sharks — were believed to be approved for trades but that there could be one or two others. The Dispatch said today that Carolina could be the first team added to the list — that the recent trade for Jordan Staal was another attention-grabber.
It’s uncertain what the Canes have offered for Nash, although it’s believed Jeff Skinner would not be a part of the trade package.
How highly did the Blue Jackets value defenseman Ryan Murray before taking him with the No. 2 overall pick in Friday’s first round of the NHL Draft? Enough to turn down an eye-opening offer from the New York Islanders, who, according to numerous NHL sources, offered all of their picks — one in each round — for the right to move up from No. 4 to No. 2 for Murray.
That’s right, for the Jackets’ No. 2 pick, the Islanders offered pick Nos. 4, 34, 65, 103, 125, 155 and 185. The bounty would have given the Jackets the following picks: 4, 31, 34, 62, 65, 95, 103, 125, 152, 155, 182 and 185. And if that weren’t enough, the Jackets could have had the Kings’ No. 30 if they wanted it.
Next week’s development camp would have required two sheets of ice.
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson offered a “no comment” when reached by The Dispatch late Sunday. After Friday’s first round, he did mention a “very attractive” trade offer the Blue Jackets declined before selection Murray, a precocious prospect whom many think could play in the NHL this season.