Inside Hockey has their mock draft posted:
16. Columbus Blue Jackets: Simon Despres
Simon Despres is a big, reliable defenceman who is very mobile for his size. He doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses or strengths; he just continually gets the job done. Some believe he could be a top 15 pick, while others speculate he could fall to the later stages of the first round. Blue Jackets beat writer Aaron Portzline, who I had a brief chat with, speculates the team would like to start drafting defencemen again. Portzline added: “I wouldn't be surprised to see them trade a body to get a second-round pick, either.”
Hockey's Future has the Jackets selecting the following:
16 Columbus Blue Jackets Ryan Ellis, Windsor, OHL D
The Blue Jackets are picking outside of the top 10 for the first time in franchise history. The organization's primary need is for a puck-moving defenseman to quarterback the power play and Ellis, who posted 22 goals, 67 assists in 57 games fits the billing perfectly.
While the NHL Awards show was better than what we've previously seen out of Toronto it still has a looooong way to go.
Honestly... Chaka Khan? ..and a corny house band? Who was picking this entertainment... CBJ game ops?
The Jackets certainly made their presence felt though. Of course Mase took home the Calder hardware while Nash grabbed the Foundation Award.
What suprirsed me though was Hitch finishing 4th for in Jack Adams voting, Mason 2nd for the Vezina and 4th for the Hart. Nash also was voted the 3rd best left wing in the league.
Imagine what could have been if Brass had stayed healthy all season? You know his name would be up there on many of these lists.
Lots of recognition this year for the Jackets which is wonderful to see and that should only improve over the next few seasons.
Not sure where this speculation is coming from that the Jackets would be interested in the Sedin twins that Bob Hunter mentioned in his rumblings column yesterday.
Bob is right on in his assessment though. No way the Jackets make a pitch for those two. Not even if the Nash doesn't resign. I see no possibility of making their two huge salaries work in Columbus' salary structure.
The Sedins are said to both want similar deals to the 12 year deal Zetterberg got in Detroit. Good luck finding that.
I know a lot of folks are lookin forward to free agency but don't expect any of the big fish to land in Columbus. If you do you will be very dissapointed. In fact I'll be surprised if the Jackets sign anyone at all on the first day of free agency.
This offseason will be all about getting Nash extended and filling in some specific holes. Howson is going to look to maximize every dollar he has available to him so I expect him to be patient and shop for bargains -- especially for those lower lineup additions.
Cross Reinprecht off the list of potential centers that Howson may have pursued in free agency. Here the details of the first significant trade to go down since the finals concluded:
Phoenix has traded centre Steve Reinprecht to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Stefan Meyer.
The Coyotes have also agreed to terms with forward Petr Prucha on a two-year deal worth $1.1 million per season.
Reinprecht, meanwhile, has signed a three-year deal with the Panthers.
Reinprecht's three-year deal has a cap hit of $2.050 million. He will get $1.8 million in the first year and $2.175 million in each of the following two years.
Reinprecht scored 41 and 46 points over the past two seasons. That is certainly more than I see Howson willing to pay to fill out his bottom 2 center positions however.
Like Marion Hossa, it looks like former Jackets Mike Peca and Bryan Berard chose poorly:
The New York Post reported in Friday's edition that 19 former and current NHL players filed suit against Ken Jowdy, alleging they invested the money with the Las Vegas-based golf-course mogul to develop two luxury resorts in Mexico — a project they say is seven years behind schedule.
Former New York Rangers and Islanders defensman Bryan Berard and one-time Islanders captain Michael Peca were hit the hardest, each losing $700,000 in the deal, according to the filing in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
"It's particularly uncomfortable for all," Berard told the Post. "He's taken our money without telling us, and it's supposedly all gone."
That is certainly a lot of coin missing from one's pocket book.
Decent vid here from the draft gurus at the Red Line Report:
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Inside Hockey has their mock draft posted: