All-Blogs.net directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Feel the burn 6-1

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Feel the burn 6-1

NHL.com's John Kreiser says that Rick Nash is on the "hot seat" this year for the Columbus Blue Jackets:

Rick Nash, Columbus -- Nash's all-round play has improved markedly since Ken Hitchcock's arrival as coach in 2007. He's much more defensively responsible and has shown he can be used in all situations. But on an offensively challenged team, Nash's biggest function remains putting the puck in the net -- and the Jackets will need him to better last season's production of 40 goals and 79 points if they hope to take another step forward after making the playoffs for the first time.

Make no mistake about it -- Rick Nash is the undisputed leader of this team and for better or worse he will be directly judged by its success.

The good news is that this is old news to Rick Nash and his performance last year showed he is up to this challenge.

I expect a 80-90 point season out of Nasher but more importantly is for Nash continue to grow as a leader and to lead this Jackets squad to it's second straight appearance in the post season.

I think this coming season we can finally put to bed comments like these from Paul Kukla (who runs KuklasKorner.com):

* Now that Rick Nash has committed to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the management team needs to find him a No. 1 center.

Derick Brassard will be that guy. Bank it.

Nice interview here from AOL's fan house with Steve Mason:

Do you ever pay attention to hockey blogs or message boards and get an idea of what people are talking about, or do you just try to avoid all of that?

I try to stay away from it, and I think any athlete would be better off doing that. People are allowed to have their opinions, good or bad, but I think it's just best to stay away from it and focus on the task at hand, and for myself that's just getting better every year. Moving forward you can't really worry about what people are thinking or saying about you.

Well hell.... I just got Mased!!

(He's completely right though.. I wouldn't read my crap or others if I were him either!)

Thanks to BHG for sending that one in.

Sammy (with a 'Y' and not 'I') Pahlsson get's some love from NHL.com's top 10 underrated signings this offseason:

4. Samuel Pahlsson, Columbus -- Speaking of Pahlsson, the Blue Jackets did the smart thing by gobbling him up to be their third-line center behind Antoine Vermette and Derick Brassard. Pahlsson's presence will allow Vermette to play a more offensive role, ideally between Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius. Pahlsson gives the Jackets more depth at center than they had last season and a reliable two-way guy to play against the opposition's top line.

Certainly seems like a match made in Hitch-heaven. Wonder if he's memorized the Hitch-ionary yet?

Out of all the Jackets unrestricted free agents -- a list that includes Williams, Malhotra, Peca, Gratton, MacDonald, York, Backman, Dubliewicz and Rome -- only two in Rome and Dubie have been signed by another NHL team.

Makes one think Howson has a pretty good read on the value of players on his roster when the majority of the guys that walked are still out on the market close to a month after free agency opened.

I do expect Williams and Malhotra to eventually find homes. Peca probably will as well.

-LTL

6 comments:

Wally said...

Have you seen any of the write-ups about Backman lately? I can't believe the guy is getting so much love right now...?

Although... watching the FSN year in review this summer, you can't help cheer his game winning goal.

His departure is bittersweet, BUT who will be the guy everyone rags on this year?

Michael said...

Funny you mention that Paul thing about the number 1 center.. I had just emailed him 2-3 days ago asking him about it.

Here is what I sent:
Just wanted to hear what your thoughts were on this. You said that the management needs to find Nash a No. 1 center? What about Derick Brassard.. the rookie last year who almost played on a point per game before he got injured. Even got rookie of the month in October. With him back this season, don't you think that management would look for a PPQB, having that the Jackets were dead last year on the man up? Just wondering why you thought we needed a center more so than mentioning a offensive defenseman.

--
Michael

His response:
Michael, No disrespect to Brassard, he has a great future ahead of him, but Nash needs an established, #1 centerman. Look at the competition he will be facing in the Central.



You need someone who has been there before and has a proven track record. Brassard will have growing pains and will be up and down.



In order to get all they can get out of Nash, someone has to get him the puck on a nightly basis.



Paul


By the way, keep up the great work LTL, read this thing every day.

LTL said...

That is a great question Wally... Hopefully that answer is nobody consistantly!

Thanks for posting that Michael. I chalk that up to Kukla not knowing enough about Brassard or his development.

This kid is going to open a lot of eyes next season and I predict all this Nash needs a #1 center talk to end up in the trash can next to MacLean's "Vote Nash to Toronto" coffee staind t-shirt.

Thanks for the great comments on the blog as well. Much appreciated!!

-LTL

the Jester said...

I'm wondering what kind of $$ Williams is going to get. It's sad we won't get him back, though.

ateny20 said...

I find it sorta funny how hockey writers don't ever get it with us. Look at our roster, look at our budget situation, and then responsibly say whether we are going to get a "number 1 center" for nash.

I think what everyone forgets is that Nash understands what the future of this team hold and where the young players fit into that. He knows that he has to work with Brass or AV, because thats his options. We don't have the money to go get a number 1 and personally we don't need one.

We made the playoffs with Manny as the number 1 for half the year last year, I think we will be ok this there. I'm just getting tired of hearing these comments. I guess its sorta like the mase thing, half the people writing are idiots and I don't need to pay attention.

Nice work LTL and the who crew.

the Jester said...

@ ateny20 - Well said man!