directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Ma-lame

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Portzline has more up in the Puck-rakers blog about our favorite soon-to-be Unrestricted Free Agent:

People who think Ryan Malone's decision to go to free agency is a kick in the gut to the Blue Jackets are dead wrong. The two clubs talked trade preliminarily, but there was never an official offer on the table. It never got to that point. If anything, Malone pulled the carpet out from underneath the Penguins on this deal, not the Blue Jackets. Don't believe either, or whatever it is. That's total b.s. I believe Malone will wholeheartedly consider the Blue Jackets on July 1. Are they a favorite? Will he sign here? I can't possibly say at this juncture. But I believe he'll consider Columbus on July 1. Anybody who says he won't is talking WAY out of turn.

I believe Portzline in that Malone will certainly consider Columbus on July 1st as well. Why would you ever not listen to an offer especially when it comes to the reported dollars that Columbus is willing to shell out for his services?

That said there is no way we are the front runners and you can't blame CBJ fans for casting doubts after all this Malone buildup. Strikes many as another Brad Richards situation.

The bottom line is that we need to look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves. As much as it pains me to type this Columbus is not the most attractive place to play right now for pending free agents -- why would they forgo their shot at the open market to make a beeline to cow town before seeing what else is out there?

I mean really, would you if you were in Malone's shoes?

Howson's job, starting Friday, is to start making cow town's bells ring. He needs to make a splash and land a signed (or at least an RFA) player that will put all on eyes Columbus and send a message to the entire NHL that this team is ready to compete -- now!

The question is will he be able to? Are there enough dance partners out there to make any deals? Is Howson willing to make his mark and have the fortitude to orhcestrate and pull the trigger on a major deal? With the entire NHL knowing that Columbus is desperate to make deal will Howson be able to do anything more than a quick fix because no doubt any other NHL GM worth his weight will use that to his advantage? pressure there Mr. Howson.

There is always a lot of trade chatter at this time but really, not a ton of actual deals go down.

At this point I'm not really worried about Malone aor what he may or may not think of Columbus. We'll deal with him July 1st just like we always should have planned on doing all along.

Right now Howson needs to focus on what is available for trade at this draft. We've got some valuable assets to play with -- anytime you talk about 1st round picks they have value no matter what draft year it is. There is no reason why he should make two trips up to that podium.

Trade as packages.....maybe even trade up. Howson's phone lines should be so hot that the OFD (Ottawa Fire Department) gets called to his hotel room. There are deals to be made -- he may have to get creative -- but they are out there.

I would love to say that Howson should be patient if nothing's there just to sit on his picks but this market cannot afford that. That ship sailed with our good ole buddy MacLean. He can't afford to not come out of this draft without a least one roster player. He needs to make a move to get some attention on Columbus that will hopefully snow ball into a big day for the franchise on July 1st.

For instance, what would look more attractive to Ryan Malone:

Nash XXX Modin
XXX XXX Zherdev

or July 1st?
Nash Vermette XXX
Zherdev Umberger Modin

We know he was willing to overpay Malone in both assets (if there is truth to him being willing to part with the 19th) and dollars so don't be suprised if he's willing to overpay for a center.

Quite frankly if he does I'm not sure we have much room to complain (although not to worry as I'm sure I/we will!) as he has to start landing players starting this Friday.


1 comment:

Scott aka lamdeveg said...

I still think we shoulda named our team the Columbus Mad Cows!!! Black spotted white uniforms w/fire breathing bull!!! I'm with you on the relief over stoppage of the Malone rumor mill! Enough already! We could really use this guy parked in the crease instead of Nash & when goalies start whackin him in the nards they'll likely regret it soon after! I really like Malone's character saying " I don't want any team trading away a possible teammate..." aka 'Screw you Pittsburgh & the cow I'm riding into Columbus on!' absolutely classic NHL! I don't really know how to read Vermette...I studied his numbers allot when we were talking trade last season & he looks serviceable but I see no "Wow" factor there. I haven't had the opportunity to really see him play though...In Hitch we trust/ In Howson we place our fragile hopes!