directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Howson interview and more!

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Howson interview and more!

Howson was interviewed by Leafs Lunch yesterday. You can listen here. Skraut also has a great transcript of the interview here.

Here are a couple of questions and answers that caught my attention:

LL: And that's obviously the reason you had to do what you did. I look at your center ice, tell me who do you think the coach is going to use there with Brassard back and Umberger can play center there, and Peca, what's the gameplan, is Filatov going to be a consideration there? What can you tell me about what looks to be a very interesting center ice.

SH: Filatov won't play there, he's too young to do it and not comfortable there. He's strictly a winger for us at this point of his career. We're going to try Brassard with Nash and probably Huselius to start the year. Vermette will probably be our 2nd center with somebody like Umberger and Voracek or Filatov in there. And Pallsson will center the checking line. And then the 4th spot is wide open right now, we may end up moving a winger in like Derrick Dorsett, or Andrew Murray, or maybe Michael Blunden who we acquired from Chicago last year. These guys have never done it, so we may be in the market trying to sign a 4th line center, but I think we're going to give some of these guys an opportunity in camp anyways.

No surprise with Brass, Vermette and Pahlsson as centers but it does appear that Howson is leaving the door open to sign some 4th line help if he doesn't like what he sees in camp.

LL: And we've seen certainly some good young teams have success Pittsburgh and Chicago come to mind. Do you have enough depth on your Blue Line right now?

SH: Well that is the area we would like to improve we have 6 quality NHL defenseman (names them) But they're all similar, they're all defending defensemen. So we would like to add one more power play puck moving guy which aren't easy to find, but that's sort of what we're going to look for. But we may not do it before camp. We're going to be patient, we're going to maybe give some of our younger players a chance to get that 7th spot, and then we'll see as the season goes. I'm sure there's going to be opportunities to add to that mix as we move on.

There is that patience word again. Still can't see him going into the season without a move to bolster that blueline. I just think there are too many possibilities out there with teams either 1. up against the cap or 2. have too many dmen under contract.

Zubov close to signing with the KHL? If you believe this link then he is. To summarize in English (which I grabbed from HFBoards):

According to, former Dallas Stars defenseman and free agent Sergei Zubov is close to signing with SKA St. Petersburg.

Was just sent a reminder (thanks Ted) that Nikolai Zherdev's arbitration hearing will be set for tomorrow. Word is his camp wants 4.5 mil a season while the Rangers want closer to his qualifying offer range of 3.5ish.

Personally I think no matter the outcome the Rangers cut the cord walk away from the award and allow Zherdev to become an unrestricted free agent. It will be very interesting to see where he lands - you know some GMs will be tempted with that skill regardless of the lack of motivation that drives it.



eplagge said...


Great article as always... by now you should probably have picked up the fact that I love to read up on the rumor mill.. I will be a nervous wreck until Howsen gets me that defenseman.. anyways here are some of my opinions on the matter...

4th line center.. -- he's keeping the option open simply because we really don't have a 4th line center, just wingers.. and with this years slow UFA market and the amount of players still available he could easily pick up an UFA 4th line center on the cheap... I have a gut feeling that if there is a solid 3rd/4th line center available who is willing to take 4th line money we will have another UFA signing before camp..Reason being: Howsen has always mentioned he wants depth at the center position..

Patience -- Howsen is simply sending a message to his potential trade partners... but I think both Howsen and Hitch would be a lot more comfortable if the new Off-Dman had some time to move over and to get familiar with our franchise and players.. Furthermore I agree with you 100% LTL, there are plenty of trade opportunities out there.... I am betting we will have a trade in August..

BTW looking at all the trade rumors, it's fair to say that San Jose is going to be the most important player in the UFA market this year.. When you have 18 players signed and only a 500K left in cap space, you are in a really crappy situation... (BTW the NHL has a 20 player roster minimum)

Zherdev, the rumors keep saying Nashville is really interested.. these rumors are spreading like wildfire.. personally I would think Nashville wouldn't touch him with a 10ft pole, but the preds could be desperate enough... other teams in the rumor mill include the panthers and Islanders.. (But these are all rumors from questionable sources, so take it with a grain of salt)

Zubov, the rumors about the KHL are starting to look more and more legit.. I would say it's 50/50 at this point..

talking about rumors.. did you read Eric Smiths rumor last night:

"The scenario that surfaced last night was that the Blue Jackets were looking to make a trade with the Montreal Canadiens. The trade rumored was that the CBJ would be sending Rusty Klesla and Fredrick Modin in return for Roman Hamrlik. On paper, the trade looks like it would make a lot of sense for both clubs as the salaries would match up and it would be players needed by both teams. I will let you know if this trade rumor gets legs in the future."

Skraut said...

Zubov to the KHL confirmed

LTL said...

You should wrap that up and post it on the main page eplagge!

Great analysis as usual.

Caught that rumor. It makes some sense on a lot of levels - espeically for this year and salaries in/out. That 5.5 mil cap hit next year could tie Howson's hands a bit. I believe both Hamrlik and Modin have NTCs which futher complicate things. Stinks Hamrlik is a left handed shot too :(