directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Blue biscuits

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, June 9, 2008

Blue biscuits

Yahoo has released their first power rankings (yes, just one week after the finals ended) and here is where our Jackets placed:

24. Columbus Blue Jackets – Because the Jackets have two first-round picks (Nos. 6 & 19) and a need at center ice, and the San Jose Sharks have no first-round picks and possible motivation to move captain Patrick Marleau, the two could be dance partners in a trade at the draft. It’s a hot and juicy rumor, but while Doug Wilson was ready to fire Ron Wilson, it doesn’t mean he’s ready to break up a 1-2 combo of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, especially when it means trading a prime-age forward to a conference rival.

It will be interesting to see if the Jackets climb assuming Howson grabs hold of some NHL talent this offseason. Will they get caught up in the names we acquire and pick us to be a playoff team? Or will they site past performance and remain hesitant to move us the boards?

Of course it doesn't matter much although I'll never complain about the Jackets getting some positive pub. They'll need to get it done on the ice though.

Yahoo also has some interesting tid bits on their Jackets team page - here are a few that caught my attention:

*RW Joakim Lindstrom is likely to return to Europe next season after struggling to crack the NHL lineup with the Blue Jackets. The Jackets will extend a qualifying offer to Lindstrom, an RFA, so they’ll maintain his rights.

* C
Michael Peca, an unrestricted free agent, has agreed to postpone talks with the Blue Jackets until after the draft. If the Blue Jackets are able to trade for a center on draft day, it’s unlikely they’ll re-sign Peca.

* Free Agent Focus: If the Blue Jackets determine that center
Derick Brassard and right winger Jakub Voracek are ready to play in the NHL next season, it could alter their approach to free agency. They have lots of money to spend and want to upgrade both their forwards and defensemen, but Brassard’s and Voracek’s development could allow them to spend more money on defense.

* Quote To Note: “This is when it starts to get interesting. You’re constantly talking to other teams, right? But this is the time when you start to get more specific, where names come up and deals start to get put together.”—Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson, who hopes to retool the club this season, on what’s changed now that the Stanley Cup is finished.

This is the first I'm hearing about the Jackets and Peca postponing any kinds of talks until after the draft. I don't envision any scenario where the Jackets sign him to play in their top 6 -- if they do then they might as well start polishing their irons. However, prior to my previous stance that they shouldn't bring him back at all, I can see some value in having him as a 3rd or 4th line center if the price is right (i.e. no more than 1.5 mil on a 1 year deal).

I've speculated on Lindstrom before and I've read that Lindstrom would prefer to stay in North America - just not with the Jackets. The fact that the Jackets qualified him means he will be there property so it wouldn't surprise me if he goes back to Europe. Another option is that Jackets could just move him in a trade.

The page also goes on to talk about the Jackets MVP, most disappointing player and various other topics.

Also CBSSports team page for the San Jose Sharks had this to say about the rumored Marleau for Zherdev + 6th pick deal:

The team denied it is close to completing a rumored deal that would include captain Patrick Marleau and another unnamed Shark heading to Columbus in exchange for talented right wing Nikolai Zherdev and the Blue Jackets' sixth pick in the entry draft later this month

Quite frankly it better not be close but Zherdev and the 6th is a vast overpayment for Marleau whose best two years came after Joe Thornton arrived. His other years in the league he's been a 50 to 60 point scorer. Trading both Z and the 6th to see if he could put up 80+ points next to Nash is to big of a risk.

There could certainly be a deal to be worked out here but at this point it seems that the Sharks are asking for the stars and the moon. If demands aren't lowered than Howson should turn his attention (actually he should already have other lines in the water) towards acquiring guys like Carter/Umberger/Vermette/Lombardi and kicking the tires on potential blockbusters like Lecavalier or Jokinen.

Just over a 11 days til the draft!! I'll have more on expectations leading up to the draft today or tomorrow!


1 comment:

Jo said...

Just to give Yahoo a tiny bit of credit - the rankings *were* described as the final rankings of this season. I don't think they're doing any predictions with these yet.