I'm picking up some good vibrations comin out of the Nash camp lately. Check out these quotes from Puck-rakers from Nash's agent:
On radio host Doug MacLean's prediction of Nash going to Toronto: "Doug pushes that quite a bit. Daily. Second by second. I have to give Doug credit, though. He made the trade (as GM of the Blue Jackets) and traded up for Rick."
On Nash's desire to stay in Columbus: "In the Columbus Dispatch last week, Nasher did go public and say he loves the city, and if a deal can be worked out, he'd love to probably stay in Columbus. But, really, it's up to the Blue Jackets now to make it happen."
On the possibility of a long-term extension: "In Rick's case, he does love the city, he's still very young -- 25 years old. So you can go longer term and still come out afterward at a relatively young age. But Rick really likes the city of Columbus. There's no doubt about it. He's done a lot there. He's done a lot of charity. He's done a lot of work in the community. And he likes it."
Music to your ears eh Jacket fans? I see no other reason for Rick's agent to say comments like these publicly if Nash wasn't very serious about re-signing.
...and why wouldn't he? Howson will offer what it takes. He's the captain. He's the face of the franchise. He loved by the fans and community. He's finally got some support with a team on the rise. The window is just starting to open.
This is the chance to finish what he's started here.
I may have to rethink my 3 years 21 million dollar extension guess after these comments. I'm thinkin more like 5 to 7 after reading those juicy nuggets.
The Nash news is great but the best part is Rick's agent is breaking this on Doug MacLean's radio show. How's that for water in the face?
....and pardon my french, but who gives a rat's ass where Doug MacLean thinks Rick Nash should go?
Doug MacLean did a few things I'm greatful for. 1. trading up to get Nash and 2. the new unis. However could he possibly be anymore transparent with his fruitless attempts to sabatoge the negotiations? Let it be dude.
It would be really nice to hear him take some responsibility for once in his life for driving this franchise into the ground.
Have you ever seen the movie "Casino"? Doug MacLean reminds me of the Robert Dinero character "Sam 'Ace' Rothstein". You know the guy who gets booted as the casino boss and in order to keep up his public profile and stay releveant takes up as a some corny local televsion talk show host.The similarities don't end there either... ... for instance you can't spell MacLean without 'Ace'.
This guys sums up my thoughts on "Hockeytown" beautifully:
It can be difficult to muster up a decent case of empathy for Detroit Red Wings fans. If you've watched a hockey game in Joe Louis Arena, you understand.
It's not that they're loud. Loud is good in the NHL. It's not even that they're occasionally given to offensive behavior with their foul-language spurts and foul-smelling bags of octopi flesh.
It's their superiority complex, that smug conviction that on the first day, God created Hockey Town and then got around to less important chores later.
Nobody watches hockey right?
NEW YORK – June 15, 2009 – Friday night’s deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports was the most-watched NHL game in 36 years with an average of 8 million viewers (5/10/73, Stanley Cup Final Game 6 on NBC, Montreal-Chicago, 9.4 million). Overall, the series averaged 5.6 million viewers for the five games on NBC, the best since 2002 on ABC (three telecasts, Detroit-Carolina, 5.8 million).
Friday’s Game 7 earned a 4.3 rating and an 8 share, the best for a series-ending game in six years (6/9/03, Game 7, Anaheim-New Jersey, 4.6/8).
There was some good news that broke for Phoenix fans yesterday as the courts rejected Jim Balsillie's bold bid to buy the insolvent team and move it to Hamilton.
Don't be fooled though as there was a lot more riding on this case then just Phoenix and it's viability as a hockey market. If Balsille would have won his bid then it would have set a dangerous precident for all franchises in all leagues moving forward.
Not happy with your losses and are lookin for a way out? Well just declare bankruptcy to break your lease and sell to the highest bidder... location and league by-laws be damned.
There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Basillie has chosen to go about his desire to put a team in Hamilton in all the wrong ways. Intead of working within the league framework he tries to circumvent it.
TSN has a very detailed mock draft posted. Here is who they have the Jackets selecting:
16. Columbus Blue Jackets - David Rundblad - 6-3/190 - Defence - (Skelleftea/SWE)
Do not let his statistics in the Swedish Elite League fool you - Rundblad has the talent to produce offense off the rush or on the power play. The lanky defenceman displays the hockey sense to read, anticipate and react to all situations on the ice. He has a tendency to take risks with the puck that can cause turnovers, but he will learn to pick his spots better. His passing ability has a quick crisp release and he can hit forwards with speed coming out of defensive zone. His skating is pretty good overall, but it would not hurt if Rundblad had an extra pop in his quickness and more power in his stride. He does not play with much physicality and tends to use puck movement, body position and an active stick to defend. When he comes over to North America, he will have to be more assertive and engage on the smaller ice surface. Overall, he has the skill set to play and excel in the NHL, but he will need to tighten his decision making and defensive game. He will need time to get stronger and mature, but Rundblad should develop into a good top three offensive defenceman.
On most mocks I've seen Runbland is taken more in the 20th - 30th positions but its certainly not an "off the board" selection. Based on what I've read though I'd really love to see Moore falls to us.
With the Jackets excellent draft record of late I'm definitely gonna put my trust into Boyd and his staff to pick the best player available at 16. Remember whomever we select will probably take at minimum 2 years before they see anytime on the Jackest squad.
Cool little section on NHL.com's draft covereage with 5 questions from each of the top prospects in the draft. Check em out here.
They also have some new mocks of their own posted. Here is who they have the Jackets taking:
Kimelman: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Leksand (Sweden)
SKINNY: Great offensive instincts and a strong shot from the point
Holland: David Rundblad, D, Skelleftea (Sweden)
SKINNY: With offense looking good, Rundblad a key cog on development of back end.
Roarke: Ryan Ellis, D, Windsor (OHL)
SKINNY: Small but extremely skilled blueliner can add spark to Jackets' struggling PP
One prevailing theme in all these drafts is that the Jackets will most likely end up with a defender for the first time since drafting Rusty Klesla way back in 2000 in the first round.
For instance here is a video from one of my favorites in this draft John Moore: