directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Game on!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Game on!

Unfortuantely no CBJ trades yet but some dominos are starting to fall.

Yesterday we had the Blues ship Jamal Mayers to Toronto for a 3rd round pick. All we've heard was how the Maple Leafs wanted to go young and acquire draft picks but here they are shipping one off for 3rd/4th line gritty winger in Mayers. The only real impact on the Jackets is that Mayers will no longer have 6 chances to beat up our players.

We also had Nashville ship Darcy Hordichuk to Carolina for a 5th round pick. If he doesn't sign Nashville's gives Carolina a 5th round pick in 2009. Nashville loses some toughness here and may plan to go without a clear enforcer similar to the CBJ. Again, the good thing here is that Hordichuk is out of the Jackets division and that man could definitely get under the Jackets' skin (of course who can forget Chimera knocking his ass into his own bench last year!).

Jeff Carter was also resigned by Philly to a 3 year 15 million dollar deal. He could set the market for guys like RJ Umberger and Antoine Vermette -- two similar but slightly older players who are RFAs that the Jackets could target for trades today.

Today we already have a decent sized deal in Nashville shipping goaltender Chris Mason to St. Louis for a 4th round pick in 2008. This freed up salary room for the Preds to get Dan Ellis resigned while give St. Louis a tandem of Manny Legace and Chris Mason in nets next season. Interesting that this was an inter-division trade -- you typically do not see those.

I find it very interesting that both the Blue and the Preds are shipping off some toughness. Perhaps they are looking at the Wings blue print of having gritty players with skill instead of taking up roster spots gritty on the lower end of skill guys.

Update: Ray Emery and Dan Cloutier have both been waived according to TSN. Not a lot of surprise here. Emery has been widely speculated to be bought out so the smart thing to do is see if anyone will take him, his ego and his contract for free. Doubtfull but maybe on re-entry waiver where the team claiming him would only have to take 1/2 his salary there may be a taker.

Puck-rakers also has a new update. Essentially Potzline is saying don't expect to land a #1 center at this draft - instead expect one or two top 6 guys.

Its no secret to anyone that reads this blog that I think that is a very good strategy - 1. there are some good young top 6 guys potentially available in Umberger, Vermette and Lombardi. 2. they are cheaper in terms of assets and dollars 3. injuries -- say we drop a load on Marleau, what happens if he goes down with an injury? Then we have Brassard and? This way we protect our lineup a bit as we just can't afford to let injuries derail next season. 4. we keep the 6th pick in this deep draft.

Guys like Umberger and Vermette would add 100 more points to our lineup if they just maintain what they accomplished last year -- that a huge upgrade -- and what will that do for Nasher? Sky is the limit.

With so many holes to fill this seems like a very logical approach and would set us up pretty good for free agency:

Nash Umberger/Vermette XXX
Zherdev Umberger/Vermette Modin

I'll keep this post updated throughout the day (or until I leave for Easton Draft Party and then the R Bar later on) with trades updates and analysis.



Douglas said...

LTL, you are going to send me to an early grave, LOL. I saw your headline and thought Columbus had the trades. Oh well, maybe we'll hear something soon. Thanks for the post!

Sean said...

I'm at home this morning with a yardsale so I can check all the info, but I'm working tonight and won't be able to watch ANY of the draft on TV. Even though I've never me LTL or any of the other readers of the blog, have a beer on my behalf and let's all hope for some action!

LTL said...

Hah..sorry Douglas.. I should edit that title...

Sean - I'm actually having a beer for you now!

I hope this is big day for the Jackets organization and its long suffering fans...

I figure I'll be drinking today in celebration or in sorrow!

Either way we CBJ fan stick togher..

I'm crossing my fingers (and toes!) for a great day/night!