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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Toronto pours it on

Maybe we should try to play Toronto more often. All kinds of media coverage on the Jackets today from the center of the hockey universe.

To get you started check out these articles that a Toronto fan posted over on HF:

Pogge vs. Mason: No contest

Wilson a Hitchcock fan

Mason glad to be home

How long until Mason to Toronto rumors start? Not to worry Jacket fans.. this kid is an RFA for 6 more years which means he's Jackets property. Not that they would let this kind of talent get away.

Also here is a link to an interview with Scott Howson today on the Fan 590.

I wanted to comment on the following thoughts from that Howson interview which I've also grabbed from HF. Quotes in blue and comments below in black.

* If he was in Florida's position with Jay Bouwmeester he would deal him
I was talking this situation over with a buddy last night... its a tough call considering Florida hasn't make the playoffs in 7 years just like that Jackets. If I got the right offer I'd probably deal him as well -- you just can't afford to get nothing back these kinds of talents you've spent years developing. Its about today but also tomorrow.

This Bouwmeester situation is going to be an interesting one to follow. Don't expect Howson to be a player for this centerfold however.

What's also interesting is that Howson tips his hand a bit here about how he might deal with Rick Nash if he couldn't get him re-signed by the time next year's deadline rolls around. Again with the way this team is playing I can't see the Captain wanting to jump ship just as its setting sail and I can't see money being an issue as Howson will pay him.

* Is looking for a centerman that can play 15 minutes a night, may add a winger but definitely looking for a centerman.
No surprise here. I look for Howson to ultimately acquire a cougar although a co-ed would certainly be nice. I think Antropov is #1 on Howson's list but according to this article Brian Burke is looking for a 1st round pick in return. I don't see Howson paying that price.

* Trade talk is at a moderate level with other GM's right now throughout the league
With less than two weeks until the deadline expect talk to heat up real quick.

* Has called some teams and let them know that he is interested in one of their players
Again no surprise but if there were any lingering questions that Howson may not be a buyer should be answered with that statement. He's laying the seeds... don't expect a move until the deadline though.

* Not worried about getting Nash under contract. Will be talking contract on July 1st. Nash has given no indication that he doesn't want to return to Columbus
See my above ramble on the Bouwmeester situation. I expect a Nash extension to be the big news for the Jackets the first day of free agency this offseason.

* Says Mason has turned Columbus around. Gives the Jackets hope. Says he is the reason that Columbus is competing for the playoffs.
Absolutely right. The turnaround started when this kid took over the pipes. Amazing story when you think about it.

* Williams has brought some skill, versatility and helped the pp since his arrival. Nice addition to the team.
A classic low risk high reward move. Since becoming a Blue Jacket he's got 5g, 4a in 15g.

Honestly I had my doubts with this move as the knocks on Williams have been his unwillingness to play a physical game and his skating.

He's been a solid addition for us though who has scored some big goals (see Detroit!). I'm not sure I'd resign the guy but he's plugged a void vacated by Brassard. The best part is Howson added him for basically nothing.

* Torres will be playing tonight
This guy just can't seem to stay healthy. He looked to be rounding into form during this last stretch. Glad he's back in the lineup -- I assume Novotny will be out.

* Expects less than 24 trades on deadline day throughtout the entire NHL.
Last year there were 24 trades on deadline day. With less sellers this year than last I think Howson is pretty dead on here.

Here are some stats via Kuklas Korner on trades made at the deadline since 1980.

As far as the game tonight.

Toronto is a team the Jackets must get two points from. As the articles above stated the Jackets have only beaten the Leafs once in their six tries and that was at home in OT.

Its the 2nd game of a back to back on the road.

The Leafs give up a lot of goals (their 210 goals against is worst in the league) but they can also score having notched 172 goals (compare that to the Jackets 159).

Bottom line is the boys need to dig deep and find the energy. They need to take advantage of the Leafs' suspect goaltending put goals in often and early. Don't get caught up in all the media attention boys and come to work with your hard hats on.

Keep your eyes on Antropov and Moore. Two potential Leaf trade targets that could fill a center role.

GO JACKETS!!

-LTL

7 comments:

Mark said...

Derek Dorsett is out tonight and Torres is in (via Puck-rakers blog).

Douglas said...

LTL, the "Wilson a Hitch fan" link isn't coming up for me... ?

Thanks for the great posts!

LTL said...

Hey Douglas.. I updated the link. It should work for you now!

-LTL

Chimera25 said...

LTL-

Surprises me that you say you wouldn't sign Jason Williams. He is a third or fourth line center who can contribute on the PP. Project his stats over a 81 game season and he is a 25g 24a 49pt third or fourth line guy.
The only Centers we have coming back next season are Brassard and Umberger and RJ has been skating Wing very well lately.
Peca, Malhotra and Williams are UFA and Novotny is a RFA.
I think I would rather resign Williams over Peca or Malhotra.
Now if we can trade for Antropov (who had a nice audition for Howson last night) and sign him along with Nash long term then we are looking pretty good.
I would love to see at Center - Antropov, Brassard, Williams and Novotny.
We'll see.

eplagge said...

I agree with Chimera25, Williams has been solid and should be kept in the fold..
However I disagree with Chimera25 on Antropov... he looked good as a winger, but I really don't see him as a center... remember he needs to be responsible on both ends and setup Nasher and Juice... I found him to be subpar on the Defensive side and he showed no setup skill and he looked rather slow..he definitely does not have Nash's deceitful speed.... He's a power forward on the wings, like a mini Nash or Nash 0.6.. not the guy we are looking for..
I thought Kubina was a beast though, BUT how different is he from a Tyutin or Commie.. Plus he has a hefty price tag... all-in-all I was unimpressed with Toronto.. I really don't see anything of great value here and I think Burke will be pulling his hair out trying to make this club better.. because quite frankly they are very unimpressive and Burke's starting point is really really bad.. I'd almost feel bad for him...

I really don't think we are going to find anything of interest this trade deadline.. Expect some Costco deals.. although I can still daydream about a Spezza dump for some minor picks followed by Hitch being the only coach who can get Spezza to compete hard every game.. ahh the sweet Nash-Spezza-Huselius line.... can you imagine in 1 or 2 years..

Nash- Spezza - Filatov
Umberger - Brassard - Huselius
Chimera - Williams - Voracek
Torres - Peca - Boll

LTL said...

Good points Chimera...

I'm not quite sold on Williams being a long term addition. I definitely like the way he's contriubting now but at what price would it cost to sign this guy to be a 3rd/4th line center?

I guess I would need to see the term and dollar amount.

It will be interesting to see what happpens with Manny/Peca/Novotny. I think Novonty is definitely history. Manny may want to much dough and who knows what they are thinking with Peca -- he's been vocal to the media, isn't producing much offensively, can still get it done on the PK, is pretty good in the circle.. he's a big '?' for me.

If I were to make a guess I'd say just 1 of those 3 are Jackets next season.

The acquisitions at the deadline could change a lot in terms of future plans up the middle as you suggest.

-LTL

Chimera25 said...

Some news on Toronto radio has the CBJ interested in acquiring Alexei Kovalev from Montreal. Rumor is they may be willing to give him up for a prospect or perhaps a roll player.
The guy has 381 career goals and could help on the PP and Wing.
Hmmmm...could we see lines of

Nash-Umberger-Juice
Kovalev-Williams-Voracek
Chimera-Peca-Boll
Torres-Malhotra-Dorsett

A very nice scoring first two lines with Commodore - Hejda and Tyutin - Russell on D.

This might fit in Howson plan add a player without mortgaging the future.

Man it is fun to be in the race...with anticipation of moves at the deadline
Thoughts?