directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Hainsey and Peca negotations stay on backburner..

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hainsey and Peca negotations stay on backburner..

From Puck-rakers:

Howson has not had any contract negotiations with Jackets’ free agents such as Ron Hainsey or Michael Peca. The GM said he would "have some dialogue” with those players before July 1, the beginning of the free-agent season.

No surprise here for me.

Some fans may grumble about Hainsey but seriously where will he fit?

We've got our two shutdown guys locked up in Rusty Klesla and Jan Hejda. We've got our bottom pairing defensemen in OK Tollefsen, Aaron Rome, Marc Methot, Kris Russell and Clay Wilson. What we need are high end guys.

Is Ron Hainsey that guy because he's going to want to get paid like one?

To me the answer to that question is an indisputable no, no, no.'s profile on Hainsey:

Has great mobility, size and reach. Can play on either side of the ice. Displays plenty of offensive upside. Is capable of logging a ton of minutes.

Is far too soft for his 6-3, 211-pound frame. Needs more polish in the defensive zone. Is still a bit raw in all three zones.

Career potential
Top four defenseman.

We've seen what Hainsey can do when being the #1 option for the Jackets offensively from the blueline and nothing against Hainsey, but it just ain't good enough. The Jackets need a whole lot more if thoughts of playoffs are dacin around in their heads.

The Jackets had the #28 worst PP in the league. Hainsey was its PPQB.

Granted most of the Jackets were bad down the stretch and Hainsey was no exception. Over the past 20 games he had 1 goal, 3 assists and was a -8. Not nearly good enough.

He can log lots of minutes and he does stay relatively healthy but he doesn't hit, has a helluva hard time getting shots through and is terrible on the transition and powerplay.

Hainsey will get his money from somebody. He's come a long way from where he was when MacLean first claimed him on waivers from Montreal but he's not the answer for us at this point. Howson has a unique opportunity to remake the defense and he's going to shoot for the , no pun intended, stars.

Will he get the guys he wants?

That remains to be seen but I think there are many guys that will be on the market where put in Hainsey's position and PP time could produce similar stats for cheaper -- what Howson is looking for are guys who are much better than that.

You need consistent production for the blueline, especially on the PP and we just did not get it last year.

Our defense needs at minimum two huge upgrades. We need guys who can work the point on the powerplay to free up our guys down low. Right now all teams do is pressure our D because they know we don't have the skill on the backend to move it ala pretty much any playoff team.

Why do you think Holmstrom is so open in front of the net in Detroit when they are on a PP? Its because opponents have to respect Detroit's skill on the blueline.

Ain't nobody respecting Ron Hainsey's skill on the point of a PP. Howson knows that, Hitch knows that hence why he won't be re-signed.

Now of course Howson is not going to land a Lindstrom caliber player but there are guys expected to hit he UFA market who could certainly help - guys like Campbell, Liles and Redden among others. Then there is always the trade route with potential targets like Kubina, Kaberle, Pitkanen & Whitney among others.

As far as Peca. Nothing at all suprising with him. He won't be back. The organization has plenty of guys who can fill bottom six roles. Howson needs top 6 guys and that's where his dollars need to go. Peca did a decent job for us under the circumstances (Svitov bolting) but its time to move on and think bigger.



Neil said...

Ok, you wore me down on Hainsey.
Bag him. Seriously.

And why not resign Peca for $1.5-2.0? He's a dependable veteran leader who can actually pass the puck. I see him anchoring the 3rd line with Chim. Not bad at all.

LTL said...

Haha.. didn't mean to wear ya down JF! Okay maybe I did :)

Yeah Peca at 1.5 - 2 centering the 3rd where he belongs I could certainly live with. The problem is what do we do with Malhotra and Novotny? I suppose we could trade or waive one of em.

I think Peca will want a little bigger payday this time around though.

I could see it playing out that way. Especially if Peca hangs around on the market as long as he did last season after Howson gets the top of his shopping list addressed.


Anonymous said...

I agree 100% re: Hainsey. We have enough bottom end guys and there is no way he is a top 4 player. Can he be? I don't know but I am not interested in waiting on him and definitely not for 3-4 million bucks.

Peca can take a hike. The guy actually competed in about 5 games this year. I'm not sure what is 'dependable about that'. At 10-12 minutes a night and for less than a million I would find it okay, IF and only IF, he decides that he is going to actually compete in those 12 minutes.

Whoopee, he made a few nice passes this year--definitely worth 2 million bucks *rolls eyes*

Otherwise, I would imagine there would be other guys out there in that price range that could help Nash in the leadership capacity.

There is no doubt, however, that we not only need help on the ice but in the room as well. I just don't believe Peca is that guy.

Rick said...

Totally agree with your assessment of Hainsey. I'd like to see Peca stay, like Neil said "anchoring the 3rd line". He isn't worth what I'm sure he'll ask for, but I'm sure at the right price he could contribute greatly to this team. Not defending his "non" action this season, but, it's got to be hard to play like a top line guy when he's clearly not. Also, he only had the one year contract & at the time didn't know (like the rest of us) that Hitch & the Team would play as strong as they did. He "bought" in to what Hitch was selling. I think he's seen where this team is going and wants to be a part of it.
At this time, I'll step down from the soapbox.
LTL - keep up the great Blog!