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Friday, February 1, 2008

Forsberg not coming here but message received


This little nugget regarding GM Scott Howson's inquiry to sign Peter Forsberg from yesterday's Dispatch hasn't generated as much discussion amongst CBJ fans as I thought it would but it should. First here is the nugget:

Howson and the Blue Jackets made a run at signing free-agent center Peter Forsberg, but it's not going to happen.
"We touched base," Howson said, referring to Forsberg's agent, Don Baizley. "It doesn't look like it's going to be a fit for the Blue Jackets. We expressed interest. It just doesn't look like it's going to work at this point."

Howson spoke with Baizley yesterday for the second time in four days.

One of the NHL's best players in the past decade, Forsberg's problematic right foot is said to be feeling well, and he's planning a late-season return to the NHL, likely with Philadelphia.
He must sign by Feb. 26 to be eligible for the postseason.

No, I didn't think Peter Forsberg would want to be a Jacket so this news comes as no suprise to me. If this guy signs anywhere it will be with a bonfied cup contender and not with a team that is finally showing signs of moving in the right direction and is on the fringe of making the playoffs.

What this little piece of info does tell me is this:

1. Howson is active. He is looking to improve this team in the short term without hurting it long term (i.e. not giving up young assets for the purpose of "now"). Forsberg, while unlikely, would fit that criteria.

2. Ownership has loosened the purse strings. Its a little too late in the game but this does tell us that ownership has opened the wallet to bring in a player(s) to help this team make the playoffs now. Hopefully they keep the purse strings opened this offseason - all signs point to them doing so now that the current regime and coach have proven capable.

3. Keep your eyes open for a salary dump. I don't see any blockbuster deals on the horizon. So don't count on Howson dealing key young pieces to acquire a guy like Jokinen, Richards, Campbell or Sundin - they would cost to much in form of young assets. Instead he'll be looking at salary dumps from other teams. The only two glaring sellers right now are Toronto and Tampa. Maybe a guy like Pavel Kubina or Tomas Kaberle could be had on the cheap just so Toronto could get a big salary off their books. Not a big fan of either but those are the kinds of players, assuming ownership has indeed opened the wallet, that Howson may acquire on the cheap.

4. Jackets will be traders at the deadline. Brian Engbloom coined that phrase on Versus a few days back. They aren't neccesarily going to be sellers or buyers. They will move some vets and maybe take on a vet or two with more salary in return. They will want roster players.

Regardless the message has been received. At least by this fan. The Jackest are active. They aren't satisfied with thieir current roster makeup. Dealing Shelley only reinforces that point.
They are looking to add a piece if it makes sense both now and in the future. Its damn hard to make a trade right now -- that obvious when the biggest deal this far this year has been Doug Weight traded for Andy McDonald.

So my message to Jacket fans is to stay patient. Scott Howson will do what's right for this franshise both shot and long term. He "gets it". If the right deal is there and its a piece that could help us now, I get the sense that he and ownership are ready to pull the trigger.

-LTL

2 comments:

pete goegan said...

I'm right with you on this, LTL. A very good analysis of where we are and what this news item means to the CBJ and the fans.

zorba said...

Couple this with the recent trading of GlenX for Tarnstrom and we are inching towards fulfilling some holes and needs in our roster. We are loaded with GlenX type guys but other than a 20 year old rookie, we have no skill on our back end. NONE. This can only help, it can't hurt. Curtis wasn't playing anyway and now we have a little more dynamics coming from the blueline.

Nothing major with be done, but mini-moves for now until we can buy some players in the off season are welcomed.