directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Howson "If I were a betting man we'll make the selection and then move on."

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Howson "If I were a betting man we'll make the selection and then move on."

There is a great interview with Scott Howson from the "Breakfast with the Blue Jackest" on 97.1 The Fan.

On the draft:
"Draft is deep. People are saying it's not as high end as last year but I'm not sure I agree with that. In talking with our scouts we are very excited about where we pick. Excited about possibilities of the player we will pick."

"Suprising thing about last year was at the top end you had a lot of people make the NHL. I don't think we'll see that this year. But that doesn't mean 3 to 4 years from now we won't look back and think this could be a better draft."

"Talked to 1 team about our pick. I think the trading of the pick would happen at draft. In fact we wouldn't want to part with the pick in terms of trading down until you see who is available."

"I don't think we'll move up but you never say never. If a player that we have rated is high is still there at say 12 or 13 we may make an attempt. My sense is we'll probably stand pat. I don't see us making an Umberger type deal. Those conversations usually happen for two or three weeks prior and we haven't had any of those types of discussions. If I were a betting man we'll make the selection and then move on."

"We are going to take the best player available. If that's another winger then that is what we are going to do. Whomever we think is going to be the best NHL player long term is who we'll select".
"The draft is not somethign we'll look at the team now and say 'we need this'. Other than organization depth."

"I remember in Edmonton we had two small centers in Comrie in Marchant and thought we didn't want to draft another small center. Two years later both guys were gone."

Free Agency
"An immediate backup goaltending need".

"A center ice need that is immediate if we can't get Manny Malhtora signed."

"Longer term goal we want to continue to upgrade our defense that we want to try to address through free agency or a trade here this summer."

"We think Vermette and Brassard will be in the 1/2 slots. We don't have a 3 which is where Manny would fit in. We are trying to sign him. Hopefully there will be more discussions prior to July 1st."

"We don't really have a 4th line center but we are probably going to try to address that internally. May move Derek Dorsett over. Might give Mike Blunden a chance. Andrew Murray or Derek McKenzie".

"The focus will be trying to fill the 3 slot and hopefully we can get Manny to do that."

"Given the uncertainly of the cap situation patience might be the best play this year. We'll see how it goes. We've never been in this kind of market before. I don't think it will effect the prime free agents as they will get their deals but we'll wait and see how it settles after that".

On Nash
"Hopeful. We'll have some serious discussions this summer. Will put best foot forward to get him signed to a longer term deal so we don't have to go through uncertainly of where he's going to play or do or what we are going to do. We'll have those discussion. We are going to get right at it on July 1st."

On Awards
"Steve's head must be spinning with what he's accomplished. He had a great week winning the Calder, finishing 2nd in the Vezina vote and making the NHL 2nd team. He rehabed all summer and then when he got to camp he had another surgery. To do what he did was really remarkable."

"Great thing about Rick is that he does his foundation work for all the right reasons. He doesn't do it to bring attention to himself. He knows he's been given alot and he wants to help and try to make Columbus a better place to live. We really appreciate the work he does."

They also have an interview with Steve Mason as well as EJ Macguire from the NHL's Central Scouting. You can listen to the full interview here.

First off I love listening to Howson. Dude just has his head screwed on completely straight and is building this team the right way especially for it's market size.

It was also good to hear that no matter what the Jackets will take the BPA in the draft regardless of position which is exactly what they should be doing.

The biggest news to me from this entire interview was they are going to leave that 4th line center position wide open for someone internally to grab.

The more I think about it the more I like this move.

1. It gives guys down in the Syracuse some big time motivation and a real shot to make the show out of camp. While guys will utlimately see time due to injuries have a roster spot that is truly up for grabs in camp should really make for some great competition.

2. It will allow Howson to allocate more dollars to fill holes futher up the lineup.

3. It saves a contract.

Here's the roster as I see right now although I do expect a winger or two to be trimmed via trade:

Huselius Brassard Nash
Umberger Vermette Voracek
Modin/Chimera XXX Filatov
Modin/Chimera Dorsett Boll
Extra: two of Murray/Picard/Blunden/McKenzie

Commodore Hejda
Klesla Tyutin
Russell XXX
Extra: Methot


Couple of thoughts:

* Filatov will probably start out on the 4th line and work his way up the lineup similar to Voracek last season
* Depending on the d-man brought in Klesla could be bumped down to the 3rd pairing assuming everyone is healthy (big assumption).
* That's a pretty damn good lookin lineup!

Remember that its real hard now-a-days to make trades in-season. The next two/three weeks is the time to shape your roster for the coming season. Very important and exciting times for all 30 franchises.



Matt said...

Sorry but that line up is not Stanley Cup material.

Stephen said...


I don't think anyone would disagree with you, but there is a TON of potential on the front line. Get a solid defenseman, and backup goalie, and thing looks much better.

We made the playoffs, now lets win in the playoffs. Then we can talk about Lord Stanley.

JAL said...

I still think Klesla moves as part of a bigger deal. Aside from a backup goaltender, I see a big impact defenseman and a solid center. At least one of Boll, Murray, Dorsett moves IMHO.

A Shot From The Point

Hitch Rules said...

JAL: I agree as to the sense of trading Rusty - strike while the iron's hot (his solid playoff performance, plus, he's relatively cheap) - downside: Hitch and Howson love this guy.

I found Howson's comments about Blunden interesting, as Chris MacFarland mentioned him as a name to watch for, next season (at training camp). They really love his size (6'4", 220ish) and his heavy game. So, given a solid training camp, don't be surprised if he's part of the picture, next season.

I do think that Chimmers might be trade bait - same reason on salary - plus, he's part of that glut of forwards, and he's also, like his sidekick, MM, part of the land of misfit forwards - MM: face-off stats (can someone tell me when he wins KEY faceoffs?), nothing else; Chimmers: uh, speed (when healthy) - definitely nothing else - that is, unless you like a guy who makes stupid decisions, had bad hands and can't hit the broad side of the barn.

Finally, I'm not sure as to how much Boller fits into the picture, for next season. Dude was in the Hitch doghouse, especially late in the season, and, with the advent of DD, he might be expendable.

Can someone take Modin off of our hands, PLU-EASE? Again, the H&H boys, especially Hitch love the game and the body, if it could just come with a player who's lost about 6 steps...

Hitch Rules said...

Sorry - if it could just come with a player who's NOT lost about 6 steps...

LTL said...

I don't think anyone realistically sees this team as a cup contender next year but as Stephen said it certainly is a playoff contender.

As Howson has mentioned a few times and I completely agree -- this team will be a cup contender when names like Brassard, Voracek, Russell, Mason and Filatov along with Nash take them there.

Unfortunately this thing isn't built (or re-built -- thanks MacLean) overnight.


LTL said...

I was just given the heads up (thx Ed!) that I left a major player out of the Jackets lineup.

That would be Raffi Torres.

Ooops. My fault.

I certainly see Raffi in the mix next season and a fixture on that 3rd line. It's a big contract year for him and hopefully he can stay healthy and contribute like he did down the stretch.

Having Raffi in there again reinforces the point that the Jackets have a surplus of wingers and something is going to have to give.

As far as Klesla. I just don't see him getting moved. Not with the way he played in the playoffs and quite frankly, with the way injuries occur over an 82 game grind, we need the depth.

The bigger question for me in terms of Rusty is when (or if) the Jackets will try to re-sign him.

That should all start shaking out once the Nash contract is done.