Tag:Rick Nash
Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:06 am
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Latest on Rick Nash, other trade deadline rumors

Is Columbus closer to a Nash deal? (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

We've not come down to the final week of the NHL's trading season and we've had so little action so far that you'd be forgiven if you mistook the deadline for a Kings game.

The only thing keeping this trade deadline interesting with all the non-action has been the discussion of Rick Nash's future in Columbus, which doesn't seem to be much anymore. That's because this season the Blue Jackets are the only real seller. Every other team is close enough to the playoffs to convince themselves they might still have a shot except for the Oilers, who don't really have many more players they would trade.

That's the price of parity in the NHL. At this point no team in the Eastern Conference is more than seven points out of the playoffs. That's pretty crazy.

So the only real blockbusters waiting to happen out there -- that we know of -- involved Nash or his teammate Jeff Carter.

It's just a matter of time before the Jackets swing a deal or deals. GM Scott Howson says he is getting closer but nothing is pending or anything right now. Here's what he told the Columbus Dispatch.

"We're waiting for the right deals," Howson said. "We're getting closer. But we're not there yet."

According to Bob McKenzie of TSN and the NHL Network, that "right deal" for Nash would involve a high-end player, two elite prospects and a draft pick. No word if the kitchen sink is part of the asking price as well or not.

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Whether or not it happens this week or this summer, it certainly seems like the Nash and Columbus marriage has hit an end.

The trade deadline is also massively important for Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who could see his marriage with Los Angeles end with this trade deadline, too. The Kings need so badly to make a deal for an elite scorer and only Nash and Carter seem to fit that bill right now of available players. The fan base has reached the point of expectation to deliver with high hopes all around entering this season.

It's really not an exaggeration to say that Lombardi's job is on the line with this trade deadline. That's what Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times believes.

I'm of the belief that the Kings should take to upgrading the offense this offseason. I don't foresee any addition this season that's going to do any more for the Kings than get them to the playoffs, perhaps. It's not like they will transform into a true contender this season with Nash.

But if Lombardi isn't guaranteed a job, then I get the urgency to do a deal now from his standpoint. Desperate men will do desperate things.

With all of that said, don't expect the trade deadline to remain dull. There will be some deals and McKenzie has the latest on the buzz, including a few teams who are slipping into selling mode and the other hot names of the season.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 19, 2012 10:59 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 11:50 am
 

Clock controvery favors Jackets against Rangers

By Brian Stubits

It's a good thing the Columbus Blue Jackets aren't involved in a playoff race this season or else these clock issues would be killing the NHL.

For the second time in a month, the Jackets were involved in a last-second clock controversy in their game against the Rangers in New York. But this time the call went in their favor.

With the second period winding down, Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto beat Jackets goalie Steve Mason and it was originally called a goal. We'll let the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast crew take it from here.

Just in case that video's not working for you, the replays show the puck going in with either 0.1 or 0.2 seconds left. Yet the ruling was no goal, it came after the period had ended. Huh?

That's right, the clock that you see on TV and at games isn't the official clock. As disorienting as that is, the video replay booth is staring at the actual game clock on their feed and in this case, the MSG clock was just a touch behind the actual one, leading to this discrepancy.

Pretty amazing that here we are in 2012 and we still can't have the actual game time on the broadcasts or in the arena. It makes for some unnecessary controversies like this one.

Not to mention it only lends the league to strong criticisms and opens up opportunities for people to start conspiracy theories. This was a makeup call for the Jackets for the blown call in Los Angeles. See how easy that was? There's your conspiracy. Now have fun with it.

The NHL has been looking at the clocks since the infamous situation in L.A. that introduced coulombs and Dean Lombardi's brilliance to everybody. Colin Campbell told Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times that the league is fixing this.

“We will find a way to bleed the clock feed into the overheads now. We have implemented a few other items into the clock process as well to make sure there can be no burps.”

Obviously that hasn't been taken care of yet.

In the end, this turned out to be more or less insignificant. The Jackets did tie the game -- on a Rick Nash goal, no less -- and take it to overtime before losing. So the Rangers still got their two points and the Jackets got one that they likely wouldn't have picked up, but they're so far behind the other 29 teams it doesn't much matter. The only way the controversy will hear its read is if the Rangers fall into a tie situation and regulation wins are taken into account.

It's just something that needs to be fixed and ASAP. It's hard to keep having situations like this from an image standpoint.

H/t to Puck Daddy for the video

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 18, 2012 7:25 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 11:10 pm
 

Pavel Kubina traded to Flyers

LightningFlyersBy: Adam Gretz

For the second time in less than a week the Philadelphia Flyers made a move to add to their blue line.

On Saturday evening, just a few hours after their 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh, the Flyers completed a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning by acquiring defenseman Pavel Kubina. The Lightning will receive a second and fourth round pick, as well as forward John Kalinski.

The deal was reportedly held up because Kubina would have given the Flyers 51 contracts. The NHL limit is 50, which may have led to the inclusion of Kalinski, a forward that had been playing for Adirondack Phantoms in the American Hocke League, scoring nine goals to go with three assists in 40 games.

It's been expected for a few days now that Kubina would be moved, and the Lightning, having now established themselves as sellers, were holding him out of the lineup until a trade could be completed.

In 52 games this season the 34-year-old Kubina has scored three goals to go with eight assists and has logged nearly 20 minutes of ice-time per game. He will be eligible for unrestricted free agency following this season.
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Earlier in the week the Flyers made another move in an effort to solidify their defense, acquiring Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars in exchange for two draft picks. Philadelphia has apparently been one of the busiest teams in the NHL as we approach the Feb. 27 deadline and have been the team most commonly referenced in Rick Nash trade rumors. Helping to fuel that fire was the word that Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson and Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren were speaking to one another in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.

Given that the Flyers are currently the highest scoring team in the league and are once again struggling to keep pucks out of their own net, a very common problem in recent years, defense should seemingly be a much higher priority than adding another goal-scoring forward.

For the Lightning, it's also their second deal of the week as they also traded center Dominic Moore to the San Jose Sharks for a second-round pick.

After their 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, the Lightning have a 26-26-6 record, which has them in the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference with 58 points, six points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for what would be the eighth playoff spot.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 17, 2012 3:28 pm
 

Video: Rick Nash's wish list put into song

By Brian Stubits

Ever since the word got out that Rick Nash could be traded from the Blue Jackets, I don't think there has been a fan base more excited than the Kings. They need scoring help in the worst way.

The excitement further ramped up when word came down that the Kings might be one of five teams on Nash's approved list for trades considering his no-trade clause. Don't believe me? Just check out this video from the Royal Half, a Kings blog (and great follow on Twitter).

Now I've seen some song parodies before, but this one is outstanding. The lyrics and vocals are enough to make Hall & Oates probably not cry. By the way, for comparison's sake, here's the original song Kiss on My List.

See, it's for reasons like this that I love trade season in the modern age. A part of me hopes the Kings can get Nash as a reward for this effort.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:24 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 1:44 pm
 

Nash reportedly down to five possible teams

Nash reportedly has a wish list of five teams. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Look what the Columbus Blue Jackets started. Now every few hours there is a new Rick Nash update after word leaked they'd consider trading their captain.

Then again, we can thank them for what they jump-started, too; the NHL trade deadline.

Nash is available at the right price ... for a couple of teams. Five to be exact. Because of his no-trade clause, the Jackets had to ask Nash for a list of team's he'd waive it for to approve a deal. Who's on it? Would he put any big-market teams on there considering he's seemed to enjoy playing in the smaller Columbus market?

Thanks to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch who has been all over this story like the league's discipline offices on Matt Cooke, we have the teams that are believed to be on the approved side.

Boston, Los Angeles, the Rangers, San Jose and Toronto are believed to be on the approved list for Nash — he would have to waive a no-movement clause in his contract before he could be traded — but the return the Blue Jackets seek could vary widely from club to club.

The Rangers and Kings have been the first two teams mentioned with Nash since the rumors began. So it's interesting they're on the list. The Maple Leafs are involved with every big name available in some capacity, so this will only stoke that fire. The Sharks have good friend Joe Thornton. And the Bruins? Well that'd just be unfair.

It goes without saying that this is just one small step for the man. There is still a giant leap or two to go.

It's going to take a lot to get Nash from the Blue Jackets. The good news for the suitors: there isn't really a position the Jackets couldn't use help at. A goalie will be at the front of all the talks, but they need defensemen and help scoring, particularly if they trade Nash and Jeff Carter. Plus, you can never really have enough scoring regardless.

Portzline speculated on what it would take to get the GM Scott Howson to trade Nash, looking specifically at the top two contenders.

The Blue Jackets are said to want at least one young roster player along with a combination of top prospects and quality draft picks. Using that criteria, the Rangers seem to make the most sense, and the New York Post reported on Tuesday that the two sides have had preliminary discussions.

The Rangers have a player the Blue Jackets have pursued for years in forward Brandon Dubinsky, but they’re also stocked with young defensemen — Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh and Tim Erixon, among others — and forward Chris Kreider, currently playing at Boston College.

The Blue Jackets play on Sunday at the Rangers.

Los Angeles could provide something the Rangers cannot — a top goaltending prospect. Jonathan Bernier, the No. 11 overall draft pick in 2005, has spent the past two seasons as the seldom-used backup to Jonathan Quick. However, the Kings don’t have young prospects to match the Rangers.

Well it sure sounds like a certain President's Trophy contender is in the cat bird's seat here, now doesn't it?

My concern about the Rangers trading for Nash -- aside from the heavy cost -- is the fit. Not that I would foresee any problems with Nash jelling with the Rangers, it's just being wary of messing with a good thing. Obviously the Rangers have that part down pat. They have the best points percentage in the league and are seven points up on everybody else in the East while no team has played fewer games than them.

No doubt adding a little more scoring would help the Rangers this season. If they have an Achilles' heel, it's probably still the offense. I'd just be leery of fixing something that's not broken.

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For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:15 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 1:43 pm
 

Should the Jets be buyers?

JetsBy: Adam Gretz

As one of the lowest scoring teams in the NHL, averaging just 2.3 goals per game (25th in the league as of Wednesday afternoon) it's not a surprise that Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd would like to see some additional offense added to the team, especially after dropping a crucial 3-1 decision to the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

The Jets have scored more than two goals in a single game just six times since January 1 (they've actually lost four of those games, for whatever that's worth) and are one of just two teams in the NHL that doesn't have a single player with at least 40 points this season (the Columbus Blue Jackets being the other). Blake Wheeler is currently leading the team with 38 points (10 goals, 28 assists). 

Following Tuesday's game in Winnipeg, Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun asked Ladd about the Jets needs as the trade deadline approaches, and the captain offered a little hint as to what he would like to see coming into the locker room.

“With the troubles we’ve had scoring, if it’s not going to come from within this room, we probably could use some help there,” said Ladd, via the Sun. "We’ve got a great goaltender, we’ve got D that can move the puck and play both ways.”

Obviously, it's a reasonable request from a player -- and the captain -- that's putting everything he has on the line every night and isn't ready to give up on the season.

But how much sense does it make from a front office standpoint to look for trade deadline rentals in what appears to be a rather thin market when it comes to goal-scorers? Especially for a team that still has a tough fight just to get into the playoffs.

The Jets are four points out of a playoff spot as of Wednesday, and even though that doesn't seem like a huge gap, it's not exactly promising, either. As we pointed out earlier on Wednesday, the Jets might need to finish somewhere in the neighborhood of 17-5-3 to reach the 95-point mark that it usually takes to make the playoffs. Is there a player (or players) available to them via trade that would give them enough offense to push a team that's won just seven of its past 20 games to that level? Rick Nash might be that sort of player. But is that a realistic target? Once you get past him you're looking at guys like Ales Hemsky and, well ... that's about it on this trade market when it comes to top-six forwards.

The only way a pre-deadline deal that has the Jets adding something to their NHL roster makes any sense is if it's a younger player that's under contract for future seasons and will be a long-term part of the team. A deadline rental that probably still won't be enough to reach even the No. 8 seed isn't what this team needs to be using its resources and assets on right now.

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 7:04 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 7:09 pm
 

Tuomo Ruutu expected to miss 3 weeks

CarolinaHurricanesBy: Adam Gretz

Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu has been one of the most talked about players leading up to the Feb. 27 deadline, perhaps illustrating just how little intrigue there has been this year (well, until the Rick Nash reports surfaced on Tuesday).

General manager Jim Rutherford recently expressed an interest re-signing Ruutu, but no matter what happens on the contract/trade front over the coming weeks the forward isn't going to be playing for anybody in the near future. The Hurricanes announced on Tuesday that he is going to miss the next three weeks after suffering an "upper body injury" during Monday's 5-3 win in Montreal.

That timetable will keep him out of the lineup until after the trade deadline. That doesn't mean a team still can't make a move for him, but the injury and Carolina's apparent interest in re-signining him may have pretty much removed Ruutu's name from the trade market.

The 28-year-old forward has 17 goals and 30 points in 57 games this season. He's currently in the final year of a three-year contract that pays him $3.8 million per season, and is eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer if a new contract isn't signed before July 1.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 14, 2012 10:24 am
Edited on: February 14, 2012 3:11 pm
 

Reports: Nash not untouchable for Columbus

Nash's numbers are slightly down with 18 goals this season. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Is Rick Nash on the block or not in Columbus? That is the question this morning.

Well it appears we have a case of semantics being played. Whatever verbiage you want to use, Nash sure as heck sounds available and that's all that matters.

His name has been lobbed around just a little with Blue Jackets teammate Jeff Carter being mentioned a lot. But the conversation erupted again on Monday night when Renaud P. Lavoie of RDS in Canada tweeted "2 NHL sources told me that #bluejackets Rick Nash is on the market. Nash have a no-movement clause and will controle his destiny."

Columbus GM Scott Howson, who was reportedly in Philadelphia over the weekend for the Rangers and Flyers Saturday matinee, declined to comment on the report to the Columbus Dispatch. The Dispatch continued:

NHL sources -- from Columbus and beyond -- took issue with the suggestion that Nash is "on the block", but only the terminology. He is not being shopped by the Blue Jackets, they insist, and the club is not intent on moving him, as it is with Jeff Carter and perhaps others.

But the Blue Jackets, by far the worst club in the NHL this season and resigned to missing the playoffs for the third straight season, have reached a point where every player on the roster could be had if the price is right, and that includes Nash.

Again, semantics.

And a swirling rumor mill. The New York Rangers keep being mentioned with every Nash discussion out there, including from the New York Daily News' Pat Leonard.

Nash is in just the second season of an eight-year, $62.4 million contract carrying a $7.8 million annual cap hit. The Rangers only have $6.95 million left under the cap, so they would need to make room.

Nash (18 goals this season) would give the Rangers (36-13-5) -- who have struggled at times to score -- an established threat who could take pressure off Marion Gaborik and Ryan Callahan.

Huh. Here I thought that's what Brad Richards was supposed to do.

What would it take for the Rangers to get Nash? The flavor of the day seems to be a package of Brandon Dubinsky, super prospect Chris Kreider and the Rangers' No. 1 pick, which at this rate will barely be better than Columbus' second-round pick. Clearly that's a high price.

The part that seems to be the toughest for New York and its fans to swallow is parting with Kreider, currently playing with the Beanpot champion Boston College Eagles.

More on the Rangers, this comes from the New York Post's Larry Brooks, who confirms that the Rangers have talked to the Blue Jackets regarding Nash. But he also puts the brakes on a little.

The Rangers have had preliminary discussions with the Blue Jackets regarding the availability of Rick Nash, The Post has learned, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the 27-year-old power winger is en route to Broadway.

Indeed, an individual familiar with the situation told The Post that the chance of completing a trade before the Feb. 27 deadline is “a longshot.”

But the Rangers would hardly be the only suitor. The Los Angeles Kings would be interested in scoring help and the Washington Capitals will be mentioned, too. Over the weekend there were two Capitals scouts in attendance for a game in Columbus and the Jackets returned the favor with two on hand for Monday's Caps-Sharks tilt in D.C. They have some defensemen they could ship Columbus' way and you know that's a position of interest for the Jackets.

It's all a bit unbelievable it's come to this. Nash is the face of an otherwise faceless franchise. From all reports, he really does love playing in Columbus. Sometimes that makes a guy that much more valuable, a skilled player who wants to be in an otherwise undesirable market (sorry Columbus, lack of winning will do that). Right now the assumption is that Nash will be the player the All-Star Game is built around next season in Columbus. Who else will be the local hero?

“I love Columbus. I love being here. I love being a Blue Jacket," Nash said earlier this season. "The city of Columbus deserves a winner and deserves a good product on the ice. If it comes to that – like you said, all speculation – but if they don’t want me here, they want to move me? I’m not going to do something where it’s going to hurt the franchise just because I have that in my contract.”

The question is how much would it hurt the Jackets franchise if Nash were to leave. We might find out now.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com