directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: This and that

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, February 20, 2009

This and that

Wanted to point out a couple of things.

Bob Hunter has a great blog on the Nash "everyone born in Ontario wants to play for Toronto" story that predictably flared up over the past couple of days. Check it out here.

The hockey Buckeyes got clobbered tonight by Michigan by a final score of 4-1. Not a good showing by the good guys. Luckily they have another crack at them tomorrow but they are going to need a much better effort to knock them off.

West watch. Couple of games tonight that impact the Jackets.

The Avalanche knocked off the Capitals in regulation in Washington. The Avalanche sit tied for 13th with 57 points.

The big game of the night is Anaheim vs. Detroit. Right now the Wings are in control with a 4-1 lead. For once the Jackets will be the more rested team when Anaheim rolls into town tomorrow. I'll have some pre-game thoughts tomorrow but I predict one heavy hitting game against what should be a supremely motivated Anaheim squad. Jackets got to be ready to butt some heads and roast some duck.

Add Tim Connoly to the mix? From

Now that Bob Gainey has provided the NHL trade market a long-needed high colonic, doesn't the pressure to make the next deal fall squarely on the shoulders of Scott Howson? With his Blue Jackets holding down the sixth spot in the West after a sloppy 4-3 win over the Leafs, Howson owes it to the team and its long-suffering fans to address the glaring need down the middle. Solid checking center Manny Malhotra is woefully miscast as the first line pivot. He's game, but with just two goals in 14 games, he's an offensive black hole.

A move will not only send the right message to the stakeholders, it can go a long way toward revitalizing Rick Nash, whose game has looked sluggish of late (that goal and assist Thursday night in Toronto notwithstanding). And the chance to play with a high-end pivot may encourage Nash to re-up with the club before his contract expires at the end of next season. If Buffalo is shopping Tim Connolly, Howson should be finalizing his offer right now.

Connolly certainly has the skills and would be a nice match with Nash/Juice... but its the health issue with him. At age 27 you'd think this guy was a co-ed.. but with the long injury history and expiring contract he could also be considered a cougar.

Over the last 3 seasons the most games Connolly has played is 48. However when he does get in he lineup he's close to a point per game player. This year he's played in 25 games and has 25 points.

I would agree with Muir though. Howson isn't going to find the perfect center but if he could grab Connolly say for a 2nd round pick then I think you'd have to pull the trigger and take that risk. This guy could really help if healthy.

Not sure Buffalo is in a position to be dealing Connolly as they are in a playoff battle of their own.

The trades are starting to heat up though. The latest move:

The Ottawa Senators Friday acquired center Mike Comrie and defenseman Chris Campoli from the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Dean McAmmond and a 2009 first-round draft pick the Senators had originally acquired from San Jose.

What a sec.. wasn't Ottawa supposed to be a seller? After all they sit 11th in the East some 13 points out of the playoffs.

Playoffs still possible.. yes.

What gives here?

First off the Islanders are rebuilding.. they want picks and they want to shed salary. They accomplish both here although they did give up a 25 year old co-ed Campoli who will be a restricted free agent next season. I'm sure my Islanders buddy will be a little disappointed to lose him but to gain a last first rounder is a nice chip. That and lets face... its TARGET: Tavares on Long Island.

Ottawa is where this deal gets wacky for me.

Two angles here.

1. The Sens believe they have a legit chance to get back into this thing so they add more offensive punch to make a run at it. They pull the trigger now as their captain Daniel Alfredsson is out with an injury.

2. They have a need for a young-ish puck moving d-man so the landed Campoli. Their top offensive d-man in cougar Filip Kuba is a UFA to be and is rumored to be dealt at the deadline.

Comrie is another cougar who is a center UFA to be. Ottawa has been rumored to be interested in dealing center Jason Spezza or Antoinne Vermette.

So what am I gettin here?

Kuba is dealt you still have Campoli.


Vermette/Kelly/Spezza is dealt you have Comrie.

....ooooorrr another option is that if their playoff aspirations falter they could still turnaround and flip Comrie at the deadline along with whomever they want to sell off.

Bottom line this deal certainly isn't the end game in Ottawa... I'm sure they'll make a push with these two guys and if they find themselves still out of it come the deadline (likely) then we'll see the next moves here...and who knows, maybe the Jackets get in on some Ottawa action.

No doubt things are starting to heat up around the NHL and some dominos are starting to fall. The deadline is only a 12 days away and its going to be a lot of fun being a "buyer" for once.


1 comment:

The Guy You Thought Was Rude said...

I'm not sold on Conally. Decent player when healthy, but one hit away from a career ending concussion. Where's Duvie these days?