Category Archives: Colombus Blue Jackets
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.
Roberto Luongo remained Vancouver Canucks property as the NHL draft weekend wrapped up. Same went for Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Really, no surprise on either end.
Neither blockbuster trade was ever much dependent on the timeline related to the draft — the Canucks certainly are not that interested in a first-round pick as the chief asset in return for Luongo. They want players who can help them now while their window to win the Stanley Cup remains open.
Although you could argue the Blue Jackets, meanwhile, should have been trying to garner as many first-round picks as they could, the reality is that the first-round picks who would have been in play from the front-runners — the Rangers, Flyers or Sharks — weren’t high enough in Friday’s first round to compel the Jackets to make a move.
Instead, much to the chagrin of the Nash camp, the Jackets almost certainly will wait until July 1 unfolds and try to recoup interest from teams that strike out on UFA star winger Zach Parise.
But what might frustrate the Rangers to a degree is that Parise has said he won’t sign with them. He wouldn’t do that to the Devils. Thus, New York isn’t terribly thrilled this Nash thing is dragging out, although not nearly as annoyed as the Nash camp itself. In a smart move, the Rangers opened a dialogue with Anaheim on winger Bobby Ryan.
A Plan B is a necessity.
Other clubs also interested in Nash include Ottawa and Carolina. The Senators want to stay in the mix even though their best hook is now gone. With the Jackets drafting two goalies Saturday, plus trading for Sergei Bobrovsky on Friday, I doubt the Jackets would have interest in either Robin Lehner or Ben Bishop at this point. Still, the Senators can stay in by changing their possible offer. It might surprise some that the Hurricanes are in the mix, especially after picking up Jordan Staal Friday. But a source confirmed that Carolina is intent on staying in the race for Nash.
NHL draft: Luongo trade chatter heats up as Canucks insist they’ll wait for the right deal
Tampa Open to trading their first round pick
Brophy on NHL: Luongo likely for Leafs
Strategy Room: Trade talk taking over
Nash deal unlikely, should Sharks turn to JVR?
Could the Bruins trade Thomas?
Could Yakupov fall to 3rd?
The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired G Sergei Bobrovsky from the Philadelphia Flyers for three draft picks, including a second rounder (45th overall).
Bobrovsky appeared in 29 games for the Flyers last season, picking up 14 wins to go along with an .899 save percentage and a 3.02 goals against average.
The 23-year-old Russian had spent the first two years of his career
The Blue Jackets have shown much patience in making a Nash trade, turning down offers that weren’t to their liking at the NHL trade deadline in February. GM Scott Howson continues to insist that he’ll wait as long as it takes to get the right return for Nash, even if it means going beyond the start of free agency on July 1, and even if it means Nash remains a Blue Jacket heading into next season.
Can you say elephant gestation?
Howson and Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick, are going to meet this afternoon in Pittsburgh, site of the 2012 NHL Draft. The message from Resnick will be loud and clear: “Trade him!” The message coming back from Howson will be just as succinct: “Not until the deal is right.”
Even if the Blue Jackets agree to a trade with a club on Nash’s preferred list, they have to seek approval ffor the trade rom Nash and Resnick. As of noon on Thursday, that has not happened.
The waters have been muddied in recent days with the revelation that Anaheim is willing to part with forward Bobby Ryan. This does not help Howson’s case at all, as Ryan and Nash are similar players, except that Ryan is younger (25 vs. 28) and cheaper ($5.1 million cap hit through 2014-15 vs. Nash’s $7.8 million through 2017-18). The asking price for Ryan is said to be lower than what the Blue Jackets are seeking for Nash, too.
When another 30-goal scorer hits the market, the demand goes down.
Friday’s first round creates an interesting dynamic, too. Clubs planning to include a first-round draft pick in their offers for Nash — clubs who can’t get the deal done with players and prospects alone — have less than 30 hours now to make it happen. If a deal isn’t done Friday, the chances increase dramatically that the deal won’t get done until after free agency starts, until a club that doesn’t get Zach Parise becomes desperate to land Nash.
Twitter post from Darren Dreger
Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick will meet with CBJ gm Scott Howson this afternoon. Have to think he encourages a trade.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 21, 2012
Wild GM: Big trade would be spendy
Could the Oilers pass on Yakupov?
Report: James van Riemsdyk “more than willing” to accept Columbus trade
Rumblings: Trade talk is heating up
The Senators have apparently made a strong pitch for Rick Nash.
Multiple solid sources have confirmed rumblings of Ottawa’s interest, saying GM Bryan Murray has indeed talked with the Columbus Blue Jackets about acquiring the two-time 40-goal scorer.
One insider went a step further by telling Sun Media the players the Senators proposed to send back in the deal for the left winger, a scenario confirmed by another source.
For the just-turned 28-year-old Nash, it appears the Senators are prepared to trade 2011 first-round pick Mika Zibanejad, winger Nick Foligno and goalie Ben Bishop.
It’s not known whether any other moving parts or draft picks would be involved..
While Zibanejad is poised to start his entry-level contract, Foligno, a former first-rounder himself, is a pending restricted free agent in need of a new deal. At the very least, he’ll get a 10% raise on the $1.55 million he made during the 2011-12 season.
Bishop, acquired from the St. Louis Blues for a second-round pick when No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson suffered a hand injury in February, has a one-way deal next season that will pay him $650,000.
Nash, the first overall pick in 2002, has six years left on a contract that carries a cap hit of $7.8 million.
The New York Post writes that for the second time in four months, sources have confirmed the Rangers are engaged in a high-speed pursuit of Rick Nash.
Just as was the case during the chase leading up to the Feb. 27 trade deadline, general manager Glen Sather remains unconcerned about the cap implications of the Columbus winger’s contract that runs through 2017-18 at an annual $7.8 million charge that is exceeded in the NHL by only Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Eric Staal.
Rather, the GM is more apprehensive about the Rangers’ lack of offense during the playoffs, in which the team was limited by Ottawa, Washington and New Jersey netminders to two goals or fewer in 15 of 20 games and could score as many as four only once, that in the opening game of the first round.
The question now, as it was in late February — when Columbus GM Scott Howson got greedy and demanded a combination of players including Chris Kreider; Derek Stepan or Carl Hagelin; Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto; plus Brandon Dubinsky and a first-rounder — is what the Jackets will be willing to accept and how much Sather will be willing to yield in return for the 28-year-old winger, whose numbers on the ice have never quite matched the hype attached to him.
The question within that question is how much Nash, whose average season yields 35 goals and 31 assists, has been weighed down trying to carry an inferior franchise through the entirety of a nine-year NHL career in which his team has made the playoffs once, only to be swept?
Up to a half-dozen teams — including Philadelphia, San Jose, Carolina, perhaps Toronto and perhaps Boston — are in the race, but the Rangers could end the derby in a heartbeat by agreeing to send Kreider to Columbus. There is less chance of that occurring than of Sean Avery returning to the team as an assistant coach.
The question might not be whom to select in Friday’s NHL draft, but this: To trade or not to trade?
The combination of a relatively even distribution of talent among the first-round prospects, certain needs for teams selecting at the front end and a new collective-bargaining agreement looming has the potential for some big deals this week and into the weekend, when all 30 general managers will be in Pittsburgh, ostensibly to make their teams deeper through the draft.
Oilers GM Steve Tambellini said this past week he has no plans to trade the No. 1 overall pick, but he listened to offers, a new development from the past two seasons, when Edmonton did not hesitate to make Taylor Hall and then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the top selections of 2010 and 2011.
Edmonton — like several teams, including the Islanders — has a crying need for help on defense.
So it might be more of a difference-making forward who gets dealt this week. Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash heads the list, having nearly been dealt at the trade deadline, although he still has a no-trade clause to determine where he’ll go.
The Rangers could be the biggest movers this week. Nash, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks, and defensemen Shea Weber of the Predators and Tobias Enstrom of the Jets could be targets, with the Rangers using their No. 28 pick and/or some of their deep prospect pool to swing a deal.
Under GM Garth Snow, the Islanders have refused to deal picks and/or young players for established NHLers. This year is no different, although Snow is trying hard to land a defenseman to shore up a thin mix. Only Mark Streit, Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald will be back from the team’s regular 2011-12 defense corps.
A restricted free agent such as the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban would have gotten Snow to strongly consider dealing the fourth overall pick, but new Montreal GM Marc Bergevin isn’t moving Subban, according to those who’ve spoken with him.