All-Blogs.net directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Wednesday round up

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday round up

A little bit of this and little bit of that for you today:

A blogger on Yahoo.com ranks the Jackets as one of the 10 least desirable places to play - in fact we came in at #5:

5. Columbus Blue Jackets: Huselius was a coup, but the Jackets' signing of Mike Commodore (5 years, $18.75 million) was the kind of massive overpayment that symbolizes how hard it is to get a player to come to Columbus. When Brendan Morrison rejects a reported $8 million over three years to center Rick Nash, what does that tell you? Like some of the other cities on the list, their best addition came via a trade: R.J. Umberger, a RFA.

For those dying to know the Atlanta Thrashers were #1 on this list.

Scott Burnside of ESPN.com says the Jackets are "trending sideways":

Oh, there were changes afoot in Columbus in recent days, we're certain of that. The problem is, we're just not sure this wasn't a case of shuffling the deck chairs as opposed to meaningful change. But one thing is certain: With Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche sent to the New York Rangers for two minute-eating defensemen in Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman and Mike Commodore signed to a five-year deal (a deal likely three years too long), the Blue Jackets should be more physical along the blue line and may be better able to move the puck from their own zone.

Raffi Torres joins the forward core, hoping to get his career on track after an injury-plagued 2007-08 campaign. He had 27 goals in 2005-06 for Edmonton. The team still lacks a bona fide No. 1 center to play with Rick Nash, although R.J. Umberger, acquired from Philadelphia at the draft, will likely get a chance to fulfill the role while youngster Derick Brassard learns the ropes. Another free-agent addition, Kristian Huselius, will fill Zherdev's role on the top line and power play, although one wonders if he'll enjoy playing for Ken Hitchcock any more than he did for Mike Keenan in Calgary. Trending: Sideways


While St. Louis Today had this to say about the Jackets offseason thus far:

The Blue Jackets are having a huge off-season, too. Shipping Nikolai Zherdev to the Rangers was addition by subtraction. Signing Kristian Huselius (four years, $4.75 million per) adds speed and skill to a Columbus team trying to finally break out.

The addition of first-round pick Nikita Filatov, assuming he signs and makes the team, will have a similar impact. Raffi Torres and R.J. Umberger will solidify the front lines and old friend Christian Backman returned to the Central Division in the Zherdev deal.

Free-agent defenseman Mike Commodore Fedor Tyutin, another piece of the Zherdev deal, will also refresh the defensive corps. Interesting.


Also some minor signings announced today. Clay Wilson was signed to a 1 year 2-way deal. Word on the street is that he'll be moved to forward in camp to see how he looks. A guy by the name of John Vigilante (okay I'll stay the obvious - what a kick ass hockey name!) was also signed to a 1 year 2-way deal.

Vigilante is a left wing who played with Sestito and Boll in Plymouth of the OHL. He's spent the past two years in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals notching 15g and 46p in 73gp last season. Don't look for him to be as willing to mix it up as those two (only 12 PIMS last season) but he should help add scoring depth in Syracuse.

Also not sure who caught this but the Blues fired back at the Canucks with an offer sheet to newly acquired Stever Bernier. The Canucks quickly matched. If you recall the Cancuks came out firing in free agency with an offer sheet to the Blues David Backes. Clearly this was the Blues way of paying back the Canucks for their previous overture. It just goes to show that you aren't going to make friends in this offer sheet business.

Update: If you missed Hitch's presser today point your browsers over to http://bluejackets.nhl.tv -- its a must watch!!

Also Howson was interviewed this evening on 1460 The Fan. Not a whole lot new but a couple of nuggest I took away:

* Expect an annoucement for a contract signing of a "younger player". My money is on Filatov getting signed.

* Will talke again with Pascal Leclaire's agent tomorrow. Right now there is a gap on dollars and it sounds like there is agreement on the term.

* Steve Mason will be ready long before camp begins.

-LTL

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was at the Q&A last night too. Hitch said he sees Clay Wilson with all of the tools and manuerisms of a forward and will try to convince Clay to become a 50/50 forward/d-man in training camp. I don't see Clay turning this opportunity down.

Another cool tidbit that Hitch offered up is that this year's training camp will be different. On one sheet will be the team veterans while on another sheet of ice will be the wannabe Jackets that must "earn their way to come over to play with the big boys".

Howson indeed only offerred 2 contracts at 12:01 on July 1st - Wade Redden and Mike Commodore. He also tried to trade into the 5th overal spot in the draft with the NYI with our #6 and our #37 and was rejected. (Thank you NY) We were going to take Filatov at 5 he says since we had him ranked as #3 on our board behing Stamos and Begosian. When Toronto traded into the 5, we held tight to get our guy.

The Umberger trade was nailed down at the last minute. Philly played the "I have better offers" card and wanted a later pick to go along with the #19. SH was not sure if it was a bluff or not and made the deal as we know it.

I agree with previous poster...Hitch is STOKED about this squad. Last question of the night..."How do we solve Nashville?" to which Hitch replied, "We will out-bully them. We will beat on them relentlessly and see who is standing in the end." He went on to talk about our new toughness factor - Boll, Commodore, Tuiten (3rd in the league in hits), Torres - these guys "play through you".

I'm not surprised to see him sign an extension today...he was holding court last night with a record season ticket holding audience and the room was electric.

Todd G said...

Love the Nashville comments. I hope we see them early in the schedule.

LTL said...

Oh heck yeah - great comments Anonymous.

The trade with NYI is interesting. I figured if they moved up it would be to get a d-men to avoid the "risks" with Filatov.

He has mentioned a few times that Filatov was #3 on their board so perhaps that was the plan all along. If so his guy slid to him again like Voracek did last year without sacraficing a 2nd round pick.

I figure the offer to trade up to Atlanta at #3 would have been to get Bogosian.

..and yeah -- love that bit about Nashville as well. Its high time we turn the tables on those a-holes.

-LTL

Anonymous said...

SH did mention that Bogosian was their target to trade up and that they made a "significant offer" that was quickly rejected by Atlanta. Atlanta wanted Bogosian. So SH moved on.

Another player to keep an eye on in camp is Clitsome. Hitch said he has a "soft spot" for him. He also loves the kid from Notre Dame (Ted) that Porty writes about today. He's high on Mayorov and Voracek.

BTW...I think that your lines are pretty close as projected. Here's what Hitch sees them as going into camp...except Modin will play RW.

Nash/Umberger/Huselius
Torres/Brassard/Modin
Chimera*/Peca/Boll*
Murray*/Malhotra/Voracek*
or Novotny*

* = "interchangable parts"

They don't expect Filatov or Mayorov to be on the squad this year...but they are open to the possibility...it is not a foregone conclusion.

tom said...

one more thing...it became apparent last night that the alternate captains will likely be Modin, Peca, and Commodore.

Max said...

I like those alternate captains, just a little curious about modin. Is he a big leader in the room? I didn't have much of a chance to really see him work last year...

Bethany said...

I love Hitch, I love Hitch, I love Hitch hey hey hey hey hey!

Sean said...

Guys,

thanks so much for posting all of this info. I will make it to prospect camp tomorrow as a birthday present from my wife! So if it turns out that she is the only female at the practice, then you'll know who I am. If not, then we're the young twenty-something couple and I'll be in my jacket's hat. See you there!

Neal said...

Great post anonymous!

Does anyone have any ideas on the D parings? The first two parings seem simple…

Commodore Hejda
Klesla Tyutin

After that it could get interesting/competitive…

Backman, with that contract, is guaranteed a spot

Russell, rumor is he's added 10 lbs. Also read on HFBoards Hitch raved about him in the Q&A, any chance he starts in Syracuse or is he an NHLer?

Tolle, how is recovering from injury? Spinal injuries are nothing but serious. With Commodore added, is there really still a need for Tolle? Please note: I'm not saying I don't want to see the big fella back, just thinking out loud…

Rome, again from a poster on HFBoards, Hitch said Rome would spend about a day in the split camp (this fall) with the kids and then move up with big boys. That comment makes me believe he's a NHL player.

You have to think Methot, Clitsome and Kosmachev get a long look as well. Damn I'm excited for training camp to get started!

LTL said...

Neil,

If I were a betting man I'd say that Russell gets that 6th spot as we need his PPQB skills and that Tollefsen will be the "extra" 7th. Rome will be first callup.

I really like what I've seen from Clitsome but Methot and Sigalet could make cases as well.

No inside info or anything just how I see it playing out in camp if this roster stays as is.

-LTL

Erik said...

Filatov signed...

tom said...

(formerly anonymous here)...

Hitch did mention that Russell had put on 11 pounds so far this off season and (as ltl suspected) that he would likely be the PPQB along with Tuiten. OKT was talked about as an also along with Rome.