directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Travel day

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Travel day

Pretty quite out there eh?

Certainly not a whole lot going as NHL GMs, execs, coaches, scouts, players and prospects all make there way Ottawa for the 2008 NHL Draft over the next day or two.

Once they all hit Ottawa then the rumor mill should start churning at full speed again.

In the meantime the Dispatch boys did give us a bite or two to nibble on.

According to them the Jackets are still in the running for Ryan Malone:

A trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the negotiating rights to winger Ryan Malone could be struck today or, more likely, Wednesday, NHL sources told The Dispatch.

The Blue Jackets, who have vowed to make substantial moves this off season to fill their litany of holes, would likely pay Malone between $4.5 million and $5.5 million per season over the course of a four- or five-year contract, sources say.

You know quite frankly I still don't get this one. Paying, or overpaying, 4.5 to 5.5 million for Malone is one thing but to give up assets in over to overpay a guy who has never scored more than 51 points in a single season just doesn't make sense to me.

If we are willing to spend that kind of jack on a guy then lets take our chances in free agency and use all of our available assets to pursue that play making center and/or puck moving d-man.

I know Malone brings some intangibles to his point totals but who is going to get this guy the puck? ...and how are we going to get that "who"? Not much on the free agent market so its going to have to happen via trade.

Again with all the wings available out there in free agency, some better fits than others, I think we have to take the chance of competing with him on the open market.

Howson needs to make a big splash at the draft and hopefully Columbus will look even more attractive to Malone come July 1st. Trading for rights to a guy isn't the kind of splash I have in mind.

The same article talks about interest in the Jackets draft picks:

"There's lots of interest," Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson said. "I'm taking as many calls as I'm making right now."

San Jose, Ottawa, Florida and Montreal are interested in one of the Blue Jackets' first two picks, NHL sources say, but such a trade wouldn't likely go down until after the first five picks play out Friday.

"Having gone through this before, you almost expect to get a phone call from a team you haven't even spoken to yet," Howson said recently. "I know that we'll get action on the No. 6 pick, probably right up until it's time for us to make the pick."

It also goes on to say that the best scenario for the Jackets would be to have one of the top 4 d-men available at the 6th slot. I'm not sure I agree with that as I think there would be a lot of teams falling over themselves wanting to trade up to grab the Russian who some say is the second best player in this entire draft.

The Jackets are in a real good spot at 6. There are 6 top guys so at the very least 1 will be there at 6 which will make there job easy in terms of who they select. Even better is if a team before them goes off the board -- unlikely, but so was Thomas Hickey at #4 last year -- there could be a couple to chose from.

For Jacket fans wanting Howson to move that pick I think that greatly increases if the top 4 d-men are gone and Filatov is there at 6. Its impossible to know exactly what they are thinking but my gut thinks they want one of the top 4 d-men and if he's off the board they either 1. trade down or 2. trade it all together.

Not that I'm against taking Filatov - I kind of like this kid to be honest.

According to this article it appears that Flyers do not plan on dealing former OSU product RJ Umberger:

In other words, the Flyers will look in other areas to strengthen their blue line, and Holmgren said Carter and Umberger will not be used as trade bait.

I don't see how the Flyers can keep all of these guys. The article even talks about them targeting Brian Campbell -- ain't gonna happen -- not when they've already got 48 million committed to what is expected to be a 55 million dollar cap and with so many RFAs to re-sign.

In the Flyers case, the salary cap does its job of preventing teams from overspending and outbiding everyone for prime time talent in the NHL. Without it you can bet they would be making a huge push at Brian Campbell for 8 mil a year.

Frankly I think they are going to have to move one of RJ Umberger or Jeff Carter to fit all they want to accomplish under the cap this off season.

Teams that I would keep an eye on for CBJ trade activity:

Ottawa, Toronto, San Jose, Florida and Philly.

All five of those squads have different motivation to deal players for picks and have assets we could greatly use.

3 days to go!!


No comments: