directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Calm before the storm

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Calm before the storm

Not much going on in the hockey world during this extended labor day weekend. Expect things to really start gearing up in the next week as players start funneling into town, coaches continue their preseason preparations and executives and staff members start crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's as season approaches.

There has been a little news floating around out there. By now most have heard of about the Jackets singing 2007 94th overall pick Russian right winger Maxim Mayorov to a 3 year entry level contract.

If you recall Howson sent three 4th round picks to move up and grab Mayorov in the 4th round. Most thought was a top 20 talent in that draft year but he slipped as NHL teams were scared off by the transfer agreement issue and questions about his willingness to come to NA.

..but now it certainly appears he will be staying in NA and Howson could come out of this one smelling like roses should the big Russian develop.

The question now is where does he play? Assistant GM Chris MacFarland had this to day:

Assistant general manager Chris MacFarland tells the Columbus Dispatch that they have not decided where the 18 year old will play this season, either with Brandon of the WHL or Syracuse of the AHL.

"That's a tough thing to ask of an 18-year-old," MacFarland explains of placing him in Syracuse. "We'll get a chance to see him in training camp and make the call."

The upside of a year in the WHL is that it will give Mayorov a chance to dominate against players his own age while adjusting to the North American game/lifestyle. His contract also won't kick for another year. The downside is that he would be unavailable to the Jackets until his junior season concluded.

The upside to Syracuse is that Mayorov could develop and adjust to NA game/lifestyle with other Russians Nikita Filatov and Andre Plekhanov and be available to the Jackets for recall. The downside is that the Jackets would burn a year of that contract on development as an 18 year old Mayorov would be playing against men in a much tougher league.

Getting my first look at Mayorov he certainly has the tools to be an NHL player. He has great size and skates very well for a big man. Like most young players he need to work on his play away from the puck but there is certainly a lot of talent and potential there.

I think the Jackets have an idea of where they'll put him next year but I do believe them when they say they really want to see where this kid's skill stacks up in camp and then make a decision.

Tampa continues its yahoo fantasy league offseason with their acquisition of Andrej Meszaros and now they've signed him to a whopping 6 year 24 million dollar deal. This move brings their cap hit to 54 million according to They currently have 8.75 million tied up in 6 defensemen and 30.417 million in 11 forward. Lecavalier alone will make about 1 million less than their entire defense next season.

For those that are into this sort of thing, has a really good read about the potential of another lockout on the horizon. One word I have for both sides if they let it comes to that -- "idiots".



Pub said...

If these idiots strike again...I dont think the NHL can ever recover. Nobody likes to see millionaires bitching about money in public. GET IT DONE you IDIOTS!!!

Anonymous said...

20 guys are skating at the Ice Haus right now led by Freddie Modin. Not a lot of older guys in town yet, but hopefully most will be here by the weekend. Apparently it is total 'summer hockey'--flow and go, but how exciting! Freddie Noreena in net and at the other end a stand it. Mason is back in London training with some pros and Pazzy isn't in town yet. Woohoo! It's getting close!

Also, the NHL 2k9 demo is available for download on xbox live. I tried it last night and, to me, it is the same clunky control system as ever. It also seems like a step backwards with the lack of 'skill stick'. You control your shooting and stickhandling with a button instead of the right stick like in the EA series.

The game looks good and I am sure there will be some good features, but overall I am an EA fan and the only reason I will buy this game is because Nash will be on the cover.

Rick said...

LTL, I ran across this article about the Blue Jacketes & thought I'd share it. Oh, by the way, it's written by a Rangers fan...

NHL Four-cast: Columbus Blue Jackets

1 - Why is this team worth watching? Hitch is a helluva coach and he should be able to make his newly rebuilt squad into a winner - they even may make the playoffs! Oh yeah, and Rick Nash can play like a HOCKEY GOD.

2 - Are they better or worse than last year? Much, much better. They made a ton of moves and only one of them was bad - being stuck with Christian Backman in the Zherdev deal. Still they lost Zherdev's talent but also his moodiness and gained Fedor Tyutin, who can step right in and replace Adam Foote (that traitor). Columbus' other big trade was also a steal - grabbing gritty big hitter Raffi Torres for disappointing Gilbert Brule. These guys will also join their big signings, R.J. Umberger and Kristian Huselius. Umberger is a growing talent, as everyone saw in the playoffs last season and he should work well on a line with Huselius. And they also added the solid Mike Commodore to give them sex appeal.

3 - Who should YOU draft in fantasy? There is Nash, then Huselius and Umberger. Pascal Leclaire put up some great numbers last year and if he stays healthy, he should do even better. And if he falls, Fredrik Norrena is perfectly capable of putting together a string of good starts. Jared Boll will get you penalty minutes and a dozen or so points, which is always nice. But the one player to really keep an eye on will be rookie Jakub Voracek, if he makes the team. Voracek has mad skills and could turn into a Jagr-type player.

4 - Why don't more owners in the NHL act the same way the dearly departed Mr. Mac did? I wish I knew, I wish I knew ...

Anonymous said...

I see, so you hijacked his format and replaced it with CBJ content, eh? I thought that guy from the NYR blog actually wrote that! I went and paid HIM a compliment regarding the content when it is actually you who wrote it!

Good breakdown, rick!

Jeff E. said...

The blogger at scottyhockey did write that about the CBJ. He posted it on Aug 18th, so you had to go back a few days to be able to read it.

Erik said...


I really like your title, "calm before the storm" ... Have you read the Shanahan article on THN ?
He mentioned that an offer sheet to him was dependent on the Sundin deal.... really what is NYR thinking... Are they really still considering Sundin.. THEY ARE CRAZY... Of course as a CBJ fan I really hope they do it.. Anyways... are there any good rumours out there ?? People you'd hope would be become available to the CBJ.. .give me your hopes and opinions fellow LTL readers..

Anonymous said...

Oh geez...I am really making a mess of things! Thanks for clarifying jeff e.

That guys blog seems like a good one. He is like the NYR version of ltl! I think I might have to put it in my rotation. He touches on several topics and seems to be very plugged in around the league.

LTL said...

Man its really dead out there. Hopefully things start to pick up today.

Nice find btw Rick on that "four-cast" -- great read.


Max said...

Mike Commodore and sex appeal should never, ever be mentioned in the same article! Unless of course there are some ladies who like a big, angry lumberjack! Hahaha Thanks for the news LTL. The bit about Tampa Bay is interesting. Did they find Grandpa's sock with his life's savings? Jeez...