The Columbus Blue Jackets are on a team on the rise but within a few weeks looked like a team that would be heading into the season suddenly trending down. They were involved in a nasty contract negotiation with star center Ryan Johansen, Boone Jenner will start the season on the shelf with a broken hand and Nathan Horton has a really bad back. No one knows when Horton will return or if he does, will he be productive at all, but one big issue has been resolved. The Blue Jackets agreed this morning to a three year contract worth $12 million with Johansen. The deal, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, pays Johansen $3 million in 2014-2015, $3 million in 2015-2016 and $6 million in 2016-2017, which is the kicker as his qualifying offer in summer of 2017 would start at $6 million. The Johansen signing isRead More »
INSIDE THE METROPOLITAN DIVISION 1. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS, 70 POINTS 2. NEW YORK RANGERS, 57 POINTS 3. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS, 56 POINTS 4. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS, 54 POINTS 5. NEW JERSEY DEVILS, 53 POINTS 6. WASHINGTON CAPITALS, 52 POINTS 7. CAROLINA HURRICANES, 49 POINTS 8. NEW YORK ISLANDERS, 49 POINTS BLUE JACKETS SURGING The Columbus Blue Jackets have won a club record seven straight games and are 11-3 in their last 14 games. Things are starting to click for the Blue Jackets as their top players are healthy and rounding into form. The Blue Jackets have moved into the No. 2 wildcard spot and started peaking last year in between games 34-48, going 11-3 in their final 14 games and if the regular season had been 52 games instead of 48 games, they probably get in as they were playing some excellent hockey down the stretch. The key for them has beenRead More »
PENGUINS AT BLUEJACKETS, 6:00 P.M. TV: ROOT SPORTS PROJECTED LINEUP Beau Bennett – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal Tanner Glass – Dustin Jeffrey – Chuck Kobasew Letourneau-Leblond – Joe Vitale – Bobby Farnham Tom Kuhnhackl – Andrew Ebbett – Adam Payerl DEFENSEMEN Rob Scuderi – Matt Niskanen Brian Dumoulin – Scott Harrington Philip Samuelsson – Brendan Mikkelson Derrick Pouliot GOALTENDERS Marc Andre Fleury Jeff Zatkoff PLAYERS TO WATCH (Focus on young, bubble players) Scott Harrington/Brian Dumoulin – The two have been paired together all camp and are expected to remain together this evening vs Columbus. It’s an important preseason for Dumoulin who is looking to prove he is NHL ready. Harrington has made a strong impression on team officials four days into camp, showing great defensive instincts while also being able to make the necessary plays on the breakout. He’s a very smart player and don’t be surprised if theRead More »
GOALTENDERS ON THE MOVE *The most interesting deal this afternoon so far was the Tampa Bay Lightning trading young promising forward Cory Conacher to the Ottawa Senators for goaltender Ben Bishop. This is an excellent deal for the Senators who had the luxury of moving Bishop due to their goaltending depth. Trading Conacher could come back to haunt GM Steve Yzerman. Yzerman this past summer thought he had his young long-term goaltender in Anders Lindback but that hasn’t panned out.
Take it for what it’s worth but Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is shooting down rumors of the Penguins and Blue Jackets being involved in any trade talks about Jack Johnson. “It’s silly,” Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus-Dispatch on rumors of a Jack Johnson trade to Pittsburgh. “I don’t usually respond to this kind of stuff, but this is just silly. I went to watch a game. Ray Shero is a friend of mine,” Kekalainen said. Last night following the Blue Jackets having a heavy presence at Consol Energy Center, Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review reported that the Penguins are looking at Johnson and that Simon Despres could be moved to land Johnson. Here was my take from this morning on why such a Johnson for Despres swap makes no sense for either team.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have relieved GM Scott Howson of his duties, the team announced. “Scott Howson is a caring man who gave everything he had to the Columbus Blue Jackets over the past six years,” said Davidson in a released statement. “This was a difficult decision but one that I thought was in the best interest of moving our hockey club forward. I have enjoyed working with Scott and want to thank him for his service.” Howson was named the second general manager in Columbus Blue Jackets history on June 15, 2007. During his tenure with the club, the Blue Jackets compiled a 173-190-59 record and made their lone appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a franchise-best 41-31-10 mark in 2008-09. The Blue Jackets (4-7-2, 10 pts) are in last place in the Central Division. Former Penguins GM Craig Patrick is under consideration to remain in a frontRead More »
CBJ deal Carter to Kings The Los Angeles Kings have acquired center Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets in-exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first round pick, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus-Dispatch reports. Both players must pass physicals. The first round pick is conditional and the Blue Jackets receive a 2012 first round pick if the Kings make the playoffs, or a 2013 first round pick if the Kings miss the playoffs. Carter, 27, has 15 goals and 25 points in 39 games this season. He is signed through the 2021-2022 season with a cap hit of $5,272,727 million. Johnson, 25, has six years left on a seven year, $30.5 million deal that carries a $4,357,143 million cap hit. Kings Analysis
Coyotes add Vermette The Phoenix Coyotes have acquired forward Antoine Vermette from the Columbus Blue Jackets, in exchange for a 2012 2nd round pick, 2013 5th round pick and goaltender Curtis McElhinney, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. The Coyotes (30-21-9, 69 pts) who are surging in the standings with an 8-1-1 record in their last 10 games, make a move for now and the future. Vermette, 29, has three years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $3.75 million per season.
Latest NHL Rumblings Will Ruutu be back on the block?: In the next 24-48 hours, GM’s around the league will know whether the Carolina Hurricanes intend to deal forward Tuomo Ruutu. Sources say the Hurricanes have a four year offer on the table, believed to be in the $15-$18 million range. Ruutu has been seeking a five year deal but there has been optimism that the two sides will reach an agreement today. However, if talks surprisingly break off, Ruutu will be back in play by Thursday at the latest. Ruutu an impending unrestricted free agent is not due back until the second week of March, which could limit his suitors to teams like the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins who are in comfortable positions where they can wait for Ruutu to get healthy.