directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets Pens in trade talks

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jackets Pens in trade talks

According to Puck-rakers both Pittsburgh and Columbus are in trade talks:

The two clubs have had preliminary trade talks, the Dispatch has learned. The discussions have involved Pittsburgh trading the rights to one or two of their pending unrestricted free agents -- players the Penguins have decided they can't keep because of the salary cap -- to the Blue Jackets for draft pick or player compensation.

It's unclear who the players are, but Ryan Malone and Brooks Orpik seem like logical choices. Hey, why not Marian Hossa?

My guess is the Blue Jackets will be giving up draft picks.

Well that is certainly interesting. It makes sense that these teams would be talking as Pittsburgh has some 11 unrestricted free agents and no draft picks in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd rounds. In fact their first pick doesn't come until the 4th round (#120 overall). They know they can't get all of their UFAs resigned so they are going to try and get what they can.

The Jackets of course have all kinds needs with all kinds of picks, assets and dollars to fill those needs. They would most certainly consider moving an asset or two for rights to a player contingent on them getting signed.

So who do the Jackets want?

First off forget about Hossa. He will not be a Blue Jacket. We have way to many other holes to fill than to dump 7 to 8 million in another winger who won't have a center to get him the puck.

This team needs centers and d-men.

For my money the player the Jackets are interested in Ryan Malone. Yes he's primarily a winger as well but he can play center. He also fits the type of team Howson and Hitch are trying to build which is a tight checking North American style game. Malone plays that kind of game, has character, can score, will stick up for teammates and shows up night in a night out. He would also, in theory, free up quite a bit of space for Nasher out there if they were on the same line.

Of course he'll also come a lot cheaper than Hossa which will allow Howson to fill other holes.

It could also signal that indeed Nikolai Zherdev could be on the block which could return us that center we desperately need. Yes I know we'd still have an open winger position in the top 6 but I feel that could also be addressed via UFA in a Brunette/Stillman/Ryder type player.

The next question of course is what would the Jackets have to give if they got Malone locked down?

If you look at last offseason the Philadelphia Flyers traded for the rights to Kimmo Timmonen and Scott Hartnell for the 23rd overall pick. There's your precedent.

Certainly the rights to Ryan Malone alone would not be worth say, the 19th overall. Heck the rights to Ryan Malone and Brooks Oprik would not be worth the 19th -- not when two better players in Timmonen and Hartnell only got the 23rd overall.

For Malone I'd be willing to give up a 3rd round pick or a depth NHL player or 2nd tier prospect -- contingent on getting him signed.

The *only* reason I consider Orpik is if I intend on trading Rusty Klesla. Otherwise he's just too redundant on this roster. I like Orpik but we don't need anymore defensive defensemen. We have two of those in our top 4 in Hejda and Klesla. What we need are defensemen who can play defense, offense and run a PP. Pavel Kubina, John-Michael Liles, Brian Campbell, Wade Redden, etc, etc.

Also do you ever wonder how the Dispatch beats get this news? Does Howson leak this stuff? I digress.

Its really starting to heat up now and its a sign Howson is considering anything and everything to make this team better. I just hope if he overpays for a player that he overpays for a young player that will be with this team for more than a year or two.

Discuss - which player and how much would you give for the rights to negotiate with that player (contingent they sign of course)?



Neil said...

Malone would give our Defenseman a much needed infusion of TOUGHNESSS and intimidation. I'm all for him.

Orpik's numbers over the last two seasons aren't worth a contract.

Rick said...

How about Ryan Malone & Brooks Orpik for the 2nd round #37 pick? That gets P-burg up towards the front of the draft and we get some decent help for not alot of investment. I really like Malones' versatility on the ice. Yes, Orpik is redundant, but what the heck...It's a package deal.