directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Saturday Round Up

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday Round Up

Some really good quotes this morning in the Dispatch regarding the Mike York signing. From York:

"I'm going into camp to compete for a job," York said. "I want to prove myself.

"Let's be honest, I'm not coming off the greatest year in my career. So this is a great opportunity for me."

Howson certainly appears to be taking a wait and see approach:

"We hope he can go back to being the player he was a few years ago," Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson said. "We have assurances that he's taking it (conditioning) more seriously. I've talked to him about it personally.

"But we'll see. He'll get a chance to make the club in training camp."

Through his agent York likes his chances to make the squad:

"His comment to me was: 'I'm going to make (the Blue Jackets), so who cares if it's a two-way deal?' "

A day later I like this signing even more. I do think York could make this team if he comes into camp in shape and with his off ice problems in his rear view mirror. He's going to have to compete though as he'll have to make the deepest Blue Jacket team to date.

It also looks like York had never signed with anyone from the KHL although the Dispatch did say that he had a couple of offers.

Puck-rakers has a lot more York and York's agent quotes here.

The Dispatch also mentioned the Leclaire negotiations and they appear to be progressing:

"The discussions are good, they're positive," Meehan said. "We're going to begin to narrow this down (on Tuesday)."

I get the feeling both sides are ready to get this deal done. It wouldn't surprise me if both sides give a little more and an agreement is reached sometime next week. By all accounts it appears to be a 3 year deal and my guess the total will be right around that 12 million dollar mark.

ESPN's Burnside has released their "summer" power rankings and they put us 10th in the West:

The Blue Jackets are bigger and more mobile along the blue line, but still don't have enough offense; and, unless R.J. Umberger or Derick Brassard is the answer, Columbus still doesn't have a No. 1 center to play with Rick Nash.

The usual suspects are in the top 4 in Detroit, San Jose, Dallas and Anaheim. Chicago, Edmonton, Calgary and Nashville round out the top 8.

The bright side is that Columbus isn't dead last like a lot of folks had them last year. As I've stated before the Jackets certainly aren't a lock for the playoffs but its going to be a battle amongst many teams in the West for those last 4 to 5 spots and the Jackets will be right in that mix.

For any Pierre-Marc Bouchard fans out there you can scratch him off the list (which I had done anyways at this point) but he has re-signed with Minnesota for 5 years at 20.4 million. Bouchard was an RFA who had filed for arbitration.

Marek Svatos of the Avalanche was another RFA who inked a 2-year deal with the Avalanche yesterday.

Some of the more prominant RFAs left out there are Jay Bouwmeester, the Antoine Vermette, Valterri Flippula, Patrick O'Sullivan, Jaret Stoll and of course our own Pascal Leclaire.

Reports out of Florida yesterday were that Bouwmeester rejected a 6 year deal worth upwards of 5 mil a year. It looks like he'll take Florida to arbitration, take a 1 year deal and try to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. This is a story that will only grow as the year progresses and he could become the hottest commodity out there at the trade deadline.

Bouwmeester would certainly be an interesting player to consider. He's got skill to burn but I've also heard he's got the passion and personality of a ping pong ball.

Update: CNNSI's Allan Muir has a good read about who from the '08 draft class could make the NHL next year. If you recall only Kane, Gagner, Turris and Perron saw time last year -- all forwards:

But that may change this season with Drew Doughty, the second overall pick and a good bet to earn a spot in Los Angeles. The Kings lost three defenders from last year's squad, and from here anyway, he looks like one of the top three options they have to fill the spots. The Thrashers also have jobs to offer, and No. 3 pick Zach Bogosian is being counted on to win one. And given Toronto's history of throwing young defensemen to the wolves, Luke Schenn (No. 5) might see some time on their blue line.

While those three are probables, there's only one sure thing: top pick Steven Stamkos. The Lightning have him inked, not penciled, in as their second-line center, and given the caliber of players that Tampa has added to ease his transition, he's the preseason favorite to win the Calder.

Other forwards who are thought to have a chance to play this year are Nikita Filatov (No. 6, Columbus), Mikkel Boedker (No. 8, Phoenix), Colin Wilson (No. 9, if Nashville can talk him into leaving school) and Viktor Tikhonov (No. 28, Phoenix). Filatov and Boedker both have the speed and hands to make an instant impact as top-six forwards, but the other two likely would be worked in slowly in depth roles if they were to stick.

In terms of impact? Give me Stamkos and Bogosian.

Quite frankly that while I love Bogosian I wouldn't count on he or any of the big 4 to make significant impacts just because it takes so long for defensemen to make the adjustment. The last d-man to make the jump straight to the NHL after his draft year was Jay Bouwermeester and that year he notched 4g 12a for 16p and was a -29.....ouch.

Instead look for more forwards to make an impact. Stamkos is a given but I certainly woudn't write off Filatov, Wilson or Boedker.



Anonymous said...

I see the Wings and Stars as 'locks', possibly the sharks and the ducks, beyond that, I see the rest of the spots up for grabs.

I say: Say NO to Bow! Personality of a ping-pong ball? At least a ping-pong ball has jump and is unpredictable!! This guy has NOTHING! Can't stand this player.

Question: When a player files for arbitration, can they come from the arbitors hearing with more than a one year deal, or are you limited to a one year deal post arbitration?

LTL said...

I know Cammalleri came away with a 2 year deal with the Kings last season so its definitely possible.

I think the team and the player have to agree on what the term the arbitrator should award on is. Not positive on that though.


Anonymous said...

Ah, okay. I guess arbitration can be ugly sometimes so often they end up coming out with one year deal, but aren't limited to it.