directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: California dreaming

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, August 1, 2008

California dreaming

A CBJ dream was crushed yesterday when it was announced that Antoinne Vermette was re-signed by the Ottawa Sentaors - a deal the Sens absolutely stole if you ask me.

As the great Mick Jagger once said "You can't always get what you want".

Hey who says we are only allowed to have one dream right? One ends and more begin. So who is next up on our wishlists?

We all pretty much know Howson is done but speculating is what fans do in the offseason so why stop now?

Some names to consider:

Mike Knuble
The 36 year old winger is speculated to be on the block as Philly looks to get under the cap. He's got one year left on his deal and is still effective - especially on the PP.

Mark Parrish
The 31 year old right wing was bought out by the Wild and is a UFA. He's struggled the past couple of years and is said to have lost a step.

Glen Murray
The 35 year old right wing was bought out by the Bruins and like Parrish is a UFA. Murray has struggled to stay healthy and his skills are diminishing.

Patrick O'Sullivan
A 23 year old restricted free agent center of the LA Kings. O'Sullivan had his best year last season notching 22g for 53 points and should only get better. The Vermette signing certainly did not help his cause.

Jarret Stoll
Ths 26 year old center is also a restricted free agent of the Kings. He was acquired in the Visnovsky deal this summer. After putting up a 68 point season 3 years ago Stoll has struggled a bit only scoring 36 and 39 the past 2 years. He's also battled concussion issues.

Mathew Lombardi
The 26 year old speedy center is signed for two more years in Calgary at a nice price. With the Flames being over (or close to it) the cap many teams would be interested in obtaining his services.

Michael Nylander
The 35 year old center is a dynamic player that is signed for 3 more years at 5.5 per. Nylander has the skill to make players better around him but that price tag on his contract and recent injury history could scare a lot teams away. The Washington "over the" Caps need to shed some salary so he's probably available.

The most attractive name to me is O'Sullivan but with LA being so far below the cap they'll get both he and Stoll re-signed. Then the are the aging wingers in Knuble/Parrish/Murray to consider and also some potential salary dumps like a Nylander. Lombardi is a guy I don't anticipate Calgary moving unless he's their only option to get under the cap limit.

Please feel free to comment on any others that may interest you out there.

Skraut also pointed out this great read from RJ Umberger's home town paper. Some good quotes like this one:

"Columbus has done a great job in the offseason. I'm excited to be a part of the team. It's a welcoming feeling to know that the team wanted me that bad that they gave up some valuable draft picks. To know how excited the fans are for me to come here makes the move that much easier."

Our old buddy Doug MacLean
has found himself a new gig. According to KuklasKorner MacLean will co-host a radio show on Toronto Fan590 with broadcaster Doug Armstrong. The show kicks off Aug 18th.

If anyone was wondering what MacLean thought of Howson dumping two of his draft picks and blowing up his roster we should find out pretty quickly. Expect plenty of pot shots at Columbus from the former GM/President/Coach/Used Car Salesmen/etc/etc.

Got to hand it to the guy as just when you think he's done he digs up something new. It will be interesting to see how long he last in the radio broadcast booth.

Word has it that he's also doing some stuff with Sportsnet.



Skraut said...

Yeah it'll be fun to listen to what Dougie thinks. Not that it'll be anything more than hot air. Unfortunately it'll be more interesting than the hot air that 1460 puts out

Baron said...

O'Sullivan would be my choice but I also don't see it happening given LA's cap situation. They need players and getting rid of him now doesn't make any sense especially since they are trying to build around Kopitar and their other younger players.
Knuble would be my choice for one year. Hitch has experience with him and will know exactly what he is getting coming in (assuming healthy). Having one more forward capable of putting up good numbers and being strong on the PP and who will go to the net can't hurt. His salary is also manageable at 2.8.
Unload Malhotra and Novotny. Neither will be here after the the 08-09 season anyways and they can get the same amount of production from that spot from York, Murray, or even Filatov. See what you can get for them now even if it's just draft picks.

LTL said...

Nice post Baron. Very good points.

I know you mean as well Skraut -- then again chinese arithmetic is more interesting than most of the stuff 1460 throws out.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone think it is a coincidence AT ALL that Doug hasn't found his way back into an NHL org? He is full of hot air and controversy and isn't afraid to let his opinions be known so he will be perfect for both of his new gigs.

Re: Players--I would take Knuble over Parrish. Lombardi over either of those two, and O'Sullivan and Lombardi would be a toss up. I don't see us getting any of them though.

Matt said...

The one reason I'd kinda like to see us take a shot at Lombardi is that he's played with Nash before at the Worlds and they seemed to have a lot of chemistry.

OTOH, I don't think that's move we need to make unless we see Umberger and/or Brassard have a lot of trouble working with Nasher on their wing.

Erik said...

First off, 1460 sucks period.. does anyone ever notice how anxious they are to switch back to Baseball/FB/BB when they finished up a CBJ interview ??? Are they forced to interview the new signers, what's the deal.. Please give Rimmer a full time gig there..(listening to the sheer stupidity of Spielman is just downright painful... )

Matt, Sure we should try to make a move.. we can always use the depth at center and we have a little bit of room to get it done.. I don't think Howsen will make a move to make a move.. but if a good center at a decent price is available he will pounce on the opportunity.. My favorites so far in order are Lombardi, Nylander, Knuble.. ( I personally think Nylander is viable.. he's been somewhat of a journeyman, he was good in NY, underperformed last year in Washington...)

Baron said...

I would like Nylander alot better if he weren't 35 and didn't have a cap hit of 4.9 million for 3 more years. He can definitely put up offensive numbers when healthy. I'm not sure what the extent of his shoulder injury was last year and what lingering effects he would have this year but he missed almost half the season because of it. I'm sure Washington would love to dump him as they appear to be currently over the cap.
Hitch would love to get Lombardi and he is a bargain financially for now.

DRU said...

Nylander would be Fedorov 2.0. We can't take on old vets with 3 years left on a lousy contract. Nylander's cap hit is the Capitals problem not ours. Let's not bail them out.

The only guy that truly interests me is Lombardi. It was already noted about his great play with Nash at the Worlds. A line of Nash/Lombardi/Huselius would score a lot of points. His contract alone is worth grabbing him in a trade. The problem is that his cap hit is only $1.8 million and the Flames are $2.3 million over the limit. If anyone gets traded from Calgary it will probably be Aucoin. No thank you.

Poppa Burgundy said...

I would deff. have to go with Lombardi or O'Sullivan. They both have speed and could create alot of room for Rick Nash to work with. But i'm also satisfied with the roster for right now. If something good comes around then im pretty sure Scotty Howson will jump on it. GO JACKETS!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You know what, dru, I think you hit it on the head with Nylander. He would be Fedorov 2.0 and I wasn't a big fan of the original version!

Too old, too much money, body starting to break down. He would be the opposite of the direction we are heading.

If we could get one of the younger guys it would be great, but I am hesitant on who we would have to give up.

wizworm said...

Oh man. GMDM on the radio here in Toronto? I thought it couldn't get any worse for talk radio in this market!

I used to listen to his coach's show through iTunes but got sick of hearing him spin all the faults with the Jackets and his invovlement with it instead of owning up to his mistakes. One thing I love about Howson and Hitch is that they're not trying to sugar coat the news to the fans. They're being very honest.

I'll have to tune into the Fan590 here in Toronto for the first few shows just to hear what Doug has to say about Columbus.