directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Fun While It Lasted

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fun While It Lasted

Hello, LTL nation! Mase1 filling in for LTL - as I said during the UFA (first) day, when I pitched in, "LTL's calling in the lefty from the bully - please be gentle"...

OK, onto a topic that faded about as quick as it arose - the rumored trade for Dany Heatley - "The Heater" - OK, perhaps "The Me-Ter" would be more appropriate.

This rumor started on more than a few web sites, some of which are "throw it on the wall and see if it sticks" and some which are generally legit. I must admit, I too fell into the trap of deep intrigue, even though another side of me felt this was flat out insane and way out of character for Scott Howson.

As LTL and I both discussed, how did Columbus enter into this frey? Pretty simple - the CBJ have cap space a plenty, in some team's eyes. Only one problem: The CBJ are a budget, not a cap, team.

Let's face it: There are some variables that also factor into the possibility - one, Hitch has coached Heater for Team Canada, and, just the other day, on 1460 The Fan, mentioned that he was never a problem for him, and is a unique talent; two, Rick Nash and Heatley have been teammates on Team Canada, on the same line with Getzlaf (man, if only that line could be our no. 1 line? Alright, dream's over, back to reality).

As the conscience and "face" of the franchise - no, not Rick Nash, rather, Jason Mask (BTW, all you copycats and Jason mask wannabes, beware - we're onto you - there's only one originator) - so correctly said, there is only one possible trade scenario that would have been acceptable:

Russell, Modin and Huselius for Heatley

But, let's take a step back on this one...

Scott Howson and Hitch are far too high on Russ' upside - I seem to recall 'Cryin' Brian Murray wanting Russ, last year, and Howson said, in so many words, no chance. Russ, while not developing perhaps as fast as we'd all like, and maybe he'll never be a Scott Neidermeyer, but, if you take him away (trade) from the equation, tell me, what are you left with in the way of a puck-moving blueliner? Yep, we're not power play-challenged enough...

And then there's the Heater factor - OK sure, he wanted out of the ATL (Thrashers) because of the bad memories of that horrific crash he was involved in, and yes, he was and never will be accepted as the conscience and face of the Sens - it will always be Alfie's, then Spezza's, team (I seem to recall Sens' fan wanting Spezza out of there, now they embrace him), fair or not, he's wanted out of playing for two teams, the later of which was the first year or two of a long-term contract. What happens if he's unhappy after the first year or two, here? He may just be hockey's version of TO (Terrell Owens).

Does Juice (Huselius) confound us (fans) with the overkill playmaking? Sure. Was he in Hitch's doghouse late last season? Yep, such was the word. Does it appear that he's an assymetric fit - (hey, I gotta use one word from my OSU grad school days to justify those tens of thousands of dollars wasted, err, spend towards my MBA) - an East-West, Jazz player in a North-South, Classical system? Right again.

Now, let's get back to what GM we're talking about - Scott Howson, he of the "in today's NHL, you build through the draft" and "it's not the dollars that concern me, it's the term of the UFA contracts that's a bit unsettling". Oh yeah, THIS is the guy who'd pull the trigger on this trade.

Now, were this Dougy Mac as GM? Heck yeah, he pulls this trade, except that he'd probably, instead of trading Russ, he'd trade Filatov or Brass, and the league would be laughing, once again - see Feds for Wright and (GASP!) Beauchamin...I still cringe, years later, over that one.

So, as sexy as this trade sounded - and yes, I bought the Kool Aid, but only drank it for a few hours - reality told me that this was not going to happen. Now, it appears the Sens are revisiting talking trade with the Oil (Oilers) - good luck on that one, after the first stalemate - and now the Sharks - anyone wanna tell me how they afford Thorton, Cheechoo, Marleau and now Heater?

So, now we can take a step back, take a breath, and focus back on the real team need, a puck-moving D-Man, or two.

Carry the Flag! In Howson we trust...


Wally said...

There have to be more than few overzealous GMs squirming right now. I can't imagine the CBJ getting screwed at all, it's just a matter of time and patience at this point.

roadman said...

There is time, lots of time. And there are options, plenty of options. The longer it goes the better the deal will be, whether its a FA or a trade. And GMSH has proven he is very capable of waiting and getting what he wants on his terms, and time is on his side.

In Howson we trust!
Carry the Flag!!

LTL said...

Great post Mase1.

Just to add to his post - Portzline sent out a twitter a few days back saying

"Heatley to Columbus rumors are a complete fabrication, 100 percent not true".

Translation. He texted/chatted/emailed Howson about this and there is the result.


snappy said...

Nice post Mase1. I was very surprized to read about this Heatley rumor. It just didn't fit with Howson's style. Maybe Hitch was engaged in some wishful thinking with his comments, eh?

Rick said...

See what you get when you drink the Kool-Aid? :-) Seriously, Howson has proven to the fans that we can trust his judgement in matters such as this. As the saying goes... "we're movin' on up..."

Stephen said...

I love the fact that we aren't obtaining players, just to get players. This is how an organization gets in trouble, such as the Rangers. There is nothing wrong with young, inexpensive, promising talent.

Howson is calculating, and being patient. We got 3 of 4 tasks complete with Nash, Garon, and Phalsson.

Keep up the good work!

Max said...

Howson is too smart to fall into the Heatly trap. His character is all wrong, first off. Let's not even mention the fact that he killed his best friend in that wreck. Now he wants out of Ottawa just because he doesn't like the coach? Too bad. Murray's not going to be able to move that big contract anywhere either.