directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Day 2

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 2

Scott Howson and the CBJ brass are most surely back at it this morning as they certainly did not get all of what they wanted to accompish done yesterday.

First up - be sure to check out and watch Scott Howson's press conference. Lots of interesting nuggest in there.

To summarize a bit from it.

The Good

Wade Redden and Mike Commodore were the two guys they targeted from the outset and they got one of them.

They expect Commodore to come in and log 22 to 23 minutes a night. Commodore is very excited about his role on this team. The Jackets love his defensive game, his personality, his reputation in the locker room and will play him against the other team's top lines.

They are not finished. At a minimum they will add a a puck moving d-men and another forward. He said it could be today or it could be August 30th.

Raffi Torres is genuinely excited to be here. Said in Edmonton he saw they were moving in a different direction. Said they would bring in Torres sometime in July to have his knee looked at to monitor his progress.

Said they got better today. Said top end skill is going to come from young players when they are ready. They want to add skill but not at the expense of competitiveness.

Said he thinks Brule will be a fine NHLer someday. Took some of the blame for organization rushing him. Said many NHLers have to move on to find their games after having such high expectations placed on them. Said it was the same case with Torres who was a #5 overall pick back in the 2000 draft when he was moved from the Islanders to Edmonton.

Told Redden's agent that he didn't want to lose out based on term or money. In the end he wanted to go the Rangers.

The Bad

Has Howson ever heard of multi-tasking? He mentioned he only sent out two offers to Redden and Commodore at noon. That's it. I know the man is patient and focused but why not kick the tires and make calls on everyone. He said he didn't even make an offer to Campbell. What? With the holes this team has on defense we didn't even make an offer? The chances are you aren't going to nab all the guys at the top of your list -- why not work on Plan B and C in the meantime?

...and why was he not on the phone with Morrison at noon with an offer?

Perhaps they only wanted Commodore or Redden and their plan B and C were trades. If that's the case then we certainly aren't using every means to improve our team as there were plenty of other guys that could help us. If we were willing to throw 6.5 or more at Redden then why not make a pitch for Campbell? After hearing him say that he only made major pitches for Redden or Campbell my thoughts immediately jumped to the trade deadline --- maybe he did only take a few calls for Fedorov. Maybe he didn't do quite as much as I would have assumed to sell of players or improve the club.

I almost get the sense Howson is too patient and to focused. Spread your wings man and kick every tire. You never know until you talk to someone what their interest and terms may be. I feel we really missed the boat, especially on a guy like Campbell - and lost him to a division rival no less.
As you can see I am a bit frustrated with the brass here. Perhaps I'm being over the top but I get the picture they sent out two faxes and just sat around playing sollitaire all day waiting to hear from them instead of at the very least making calls and guaging the cost and interest of other players.

I mean what happened to this 4 offers going out stuff?

Day 2

Which brings us to today. My frustrations with our seemingly lack of aggresiveness and presistancy aside - day 2 could see plenty of activity from the Jackets (I hope).

Right now they have 30.62 million committed towards 15 players. Assuming 8 mil for Leclaire and Umberger and assuming a budget between 48-50 million that gives Howson between 9 to 11 million to play with to address the remaining holes if no salary is moved.

We know from Howson that he has an iron or two in the fire on the trade front -- god knows its probably only one. We know he wants to add a puck mover and a forward - most likely a center - so one would assume if a trade were to go down it would be to address one of those needs. Names being bandied about are Kubina, Boyle and Schneider with a guy like Fritsche perhaps going the other way in a package.

Also keep in mind that a lot of teams added some major salary yesterday so they may be looking to dump some salary which the CBJ could gobble up relatively cheaply.
Tampa is a team that certainly comes to mind with Boyle in that scenario.

The other avenue of course are the remaining unrestricted free agents still out there. The two most notable guys rumored to be of great interest to the Jackets are Brendan Morrison and Kristian Huselius. Morrison of course is a center the Jackets could desperately use to round out their top 6 while Huselius is a skilled winger who would certainly improve the Jackets offense and could also make a player such as Zherdev expendible.
Martin Strake is another guy. He's played center and bring it every shift. I can see why the Jackets could have an interest there.

At a minimum, I would look for at least one of those pieces to get filled today.

I'll crank up a Live Bloggin "Day 2" to track the ins and outs of day 2 in the free agent world. I certainly don't expect the whirlwind of events from yesterday -- you have to admit though, it was fun a day even if we didn't get all we wanted for x-mas.


1 comment:

Skraut said...


Thanks for being a sense of reason compared to a lot of the other blogs/messageboards.