directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Deadline reaction from around league

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Deadline reaction from around league

Edmonton Journal - has us as "on the fence":

Columbus -- The Jackets will miss Adam Foote's leadership because Rick Nash has yet to step up, but Foote wanted too much -- $8 million for two years -- so he's back in Colorado. Columbus will get a first-rounder if the Avs make the playoffs, and one in 2009 if they don't. Nice work by GM Scott Howman.

ESPN's take:

In Columbus, the Foote deal, along with the trade of Sergei Fedorov to Washington, signals the white flag on the Blue Jackets' long-shot bid to make the playoffs this season. Which is fine. This is a team that isn't quite there yet and can stand to stockpile as many draft picks and prospects as possible. With Foote and Fedorov off the books, Howson is expected to be very active in the offseason. Whether that means unrestricted free agents or offer sheets to restricted free agents, Howson will then prove his mettle as an NHL GM.

The Hockey News - general comments

On Fedorov: ANALYSIS: The Washington Capitals’ push for a Southeast Division title continued on trade deadline day with their acquisition of Sergei Fedorov from Columbus for Notre Dame defenseman Ted Ruth.Fedorov was heavily rumored to be on his way to a Western Conference team, but Caps GM George McPhee has needed a veteran center to replace the injured Michael Nylander for months now, and he gets one in the 38-year-old Russian legend.Another in a long line of soon-to-be unrestricted free agents dealt on trade deadline day, Fedorov also will provide a nice bump for Washington’s average power play. Ruth, 19, was drafted 46th overall by the Capitals in 2007 and is a mobile, stay-at-home defenseman who didn’t rank in Washington’s top 10 prospect list in Future Watch 2008. The Naperville, Ill., native spent the previous two seasons with the U.S. national team development program and needs at least two more years development at Notre Dame. The fact he was not among Washington’s top 10 prospects suggests he’s more a middling project than anything close to a sure bet. - AP/BC

On Foote Foote returns to Colorado after failing to reach a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Obviously, the Blue Jackets didn’t feel a 36-year-old Foote was worth anything near $4 million per year for two more years. Now, the Blue Jackets will get a first-round pick either this June or next, which is a good return for Foote. But the risk for the Blue Jackets is that a dressing room that was void of leadership is even worse off in that department. It was so bad that coach Ken Hitchcock threw up his arms the other day and told the players to run practice. The Jackets also get another conditional pick based on whether or not Foote re-signs with the Avalanche. The only team in NHL history never to appear in the playoffs looks as though it has resigned itself to another spring out of the post-season. There is speculation that Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson would have stepped up for Foote if he had been able to get Brad Richards, but after that plan fell through he became a seller. - KC - Goldstein calls us a loser for not acquiring even though he has us ranked 27th on this power rankings this past week -- pick an argument bub.

This is a team that has not made the playoffs since beginning play in 2000, yet now sits only a few points out of the final seed in the West. The Jackets were in the mix to get Richards out of Tampa Bay, but ultimately didn't have the assets to entice the Lightning enough. So instead of looking elsewhere and trying to upgrade for a final push this season, the Jackets instead threw in the towel and moved Fedorov and Foote for futures. Patience has already worn thin among the loyal Columbus fans and these moves won't make that situation any better. - general comments

After failing to come to terms with his captain on a contract extension, rookie GM Scott Howson hit a home run in dealing the vet to the only team for which he’d waive his NTC. His absence will leave a big hole both on and off the ice in Columbus, but a first rounder this year (if the Avs make the playoffs) or next will help smooth it over. For their part, the Avs bring home another aging veteran of their glorious past in an effort to sneak back into the postseason race. It says here it’s too little, too late.

The Caps have struggled to find a suitable replacement for Michael Nylander all season, and while the skills of the 38-year-old Fedorov have clearly eroded, he can fill the second line role better than anyone currently on the roster. His playoff experience, and firm grasp of the Russian language, should be a plus down the stretch. Ruth, a 2007 second rounder, is a freshman at Notre Dame. The 19-year-old stay-at-home defenseman has NHL potential, but he was well down Washington’s depth chart and won't be missed by the Caps.


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