directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Blue biscuits

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blue biscuits

Not a lot going on today but there are a few things to share.

The Dispatch has hinted both today and in their blog that Michael Peca is all but signed. I am waiting for an official announcement and the terms. Its expected to be a 1 or 2 year deal and I can't see the Jackets spending much more on him than they did last season. It should be around 1.2 mil with incentives. After the Peca deal gets done really the only big move left is to get Leclaire signed. They will also have to get Syracuse some players and add a little more depth there.

Speaking of Syracuse, kind of old news now but Zenon Konopka signed a 2 year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Here are the terms from Lindsay Kramer:

Financially, the two deals were more even that it might seem. Columubus was willing to go two years, two-way. The first year was $265,000 in the minors. That's a monster offer. I never thought it would go that high in a million years. J.F.Labbe made more than $200,000 with Syracuse. Other than that, I can't think of another Crunch player who made that much on a minor-league salary.

Assuming the second year of the deal was $265,000, Konopka would have been guaranteed at least $530,000 for two years in Syracuse. He probably would have made a little more, assuming he got a couple of games each year in Columbus.

Tampa Bay is giving Konopka a minor-league salary of $100,000 next year, which is a two-way deal. The second year of the deal is one-way. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing his NHL salary is around $450,000-$500,000. So, for two years, he's looking at about $550,000-$600,000 total. Of course, if he plays a lot in the NHL this season - and here's hoping he does - he'll make a lot more.

You know the Jackets and Syracuse wanted to keep the guy but you certainly can't blame Zenon for going where he thinks he makes the most cash and has his best opportunity to play in the NHL on a full time basis. I know I'll miss the depth this guy brought to the organization.

Kramer also talks about how Jackets Assistant GM Chris MacFarland expects to have some free agent signings in the next few days:

He said he has been in touch with the agent for ex-Cruncher Mathieu Darche, who spent most of last season with Tampa Bay. But Darche is looking for a one-way deal, MacFarland said, and the Blue Jackets aren't interested in going there. If Darche is open to a two-way deal, then Columbus will talk.

He said the likely goalie tandem to start the season in Syracuse will be Steve Mason and Dan LaCosta. No shock there. Mason is a super prospect and LaCosta, in his third year, deserves that chance to show what he can do in the AHL.

MacFarland said the team has an offer in to forward Derek MacKenzie, but has yet to hear back from him. He said the team has kept in touch with free agent forward Nate DiCasmirro, and that DiCasmirro is also weighing offers from Europe. Free agent forward Mark Rycroft may not be completely out of the Columbus plans, but he's not on the front burner now.

Columbus retains the right to defenseman Andrei Plekhanov, but is negotiating to upgrade the AHL deal he played under last season to a two-way deal in 2008-09.

Here's something you have to like - veteran AHL defenseman Jonathan Sigalet, acquired in a trade from Boston, volunteered to take part in the organization's prospect camp this week. According to MacFarland, Sigalet said he wanted to meet the coaching staff and start building some chemistry with younger players.

I fully expect the Jackets to land a couple of "tweeners" to help out the Crunch. Bringing back MacKenzie makes a lot of sense and he was a servicable callup.

Hadn't heard that news on Plehkanov before. He is said to have the NHL package talent wise but is slow at reading the game.

Also its hard not to like that move by Sigalet. Iknow Methot also participated in last year's development camp even though he had a couple years of pro play under his belt.

Right now I figure the following players to the Crunch:

Goal - Mason, LaCosta
Defense - Clitsome, Wilson, Plehkanov, Holden with Methot, Sigalet and Holden likely
Forwards - Legein, Pineault, Frischmon, Dorsett, Mirasty, Sestito, Starkov with possibly Filatov and Mayorov

Clearly the Crunch need another forward or two and could use a veteran presense back on D like a Dan Smith.

Oh and for those that haven't heard 2002 2nd round pick Joakim Lidstrom will be playing in Europe this coming season.

Not surprised by that move. I'm not sure why but this team just can't ever seem to hit on 2nd round picks. Looks at this list:

Ben Knopp, Tim Jackman, Kiel McLeod, Joakim Lidstrom, Dan Fritsche, Adam Pineault, Kyle Wharton, Adam McQuaid, Stefan Legein, Will Weber, Cody Goloubef

Obviously guys like Legin/Weber/Goloubef are way to early to call and all look promising but other than really Dan Fritsche none have made an NHL impact. The only one before the 2006 draft still with the club is 2004 2nd round pick Adam Pineault.

We need to start hitting on guys in this round.

If you are planning on making a trip to a day of prospect camp this week you may want to pencil in Thursday. Word around the camp fire is that there will be some kind of intra-squad scrimmage that day.

There is a good read on about Mike Commodore and his decision to sign with Columbus - really love this quote:

"I had spoken with a few teams, but Columbus was the place where I really wanted to play. … When I look at the lineup, you have plenty to be optimistic about."

Read more from him here.

Just got word from a reader
that Aaron Portsline will be co-host of the Big Show today on -- show starts at 4 p.m. and there should be plenty of CBJ discussion.
Remember you can call in at 614.821.1460 or email - lets continue to talk some CBJ hockey folks!!



Jeff E. said...

Is the show only on-line? Or is it being broadcasted on regular airways?

LTL said...

Its on regular airways as well Jeff.


Max said...

Mike Commodore, I love you...

Too bad about Konopka. He was a bad ass and he really whipped Syracuse into a frenzy at the end of the year. I'll miss the guy.

Anonymous said...

Too bad about Konopka but he doesn't have the footspeed to play full time in the NHL.