Columbus Finally Making a Move?

12/28/2009
San Jose Sharks v Columbus Blue Jackets

Tom Reed of The Columbus Dispatch recently reported that Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson will shake things up soon in an attempt to send a message to his team.  Considered a strong team with room for improvement following their first playoff berth, the young team struggled and currently sit in 14th in the Western Conference, just one point above cellar dweller the Edmonton Oilers.

The difference between the Oilers and Blue Jackets however are injuries.  The Oilers lost their number one goalie and arguably their number one scorer, if not for the breakout year of Dustin Penner and admirable job by Jeff Deslauriers thinks could be even worse in the province of Alberta.

The Blue Jackets’ problems prove not as simple.  A sophomore slump from Derick Brassard and Steve Mason severely hurt their chances, as well as the deportation of Nikita Filatov.  Couple those problems with the injury to top defenseman Rostislav Klesla and the Jackets lost key components to last year’s playoff team.

Nevertheless, Howson stayed the course admitting he would not make any panic moves.  At this point a move seems too late.  Recent rumblings around Twitter point to Karl Alzner moving to Columbus.

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Trade Rumors Hitting the Presses

12/11/2009
NY: Phoenix Coyotes v New York Rangers

Busy day in the rumor market, lets take out our magnifying glasses and take a closer look to the Hot Stove:

Larry Brooks of The New York Post discusses the shortcomings on the current Rangers roster.   The controversial reporter notes that the pieces that may have value are the same that the team wants to keep.

Most importantly he discusses a trade proposal supposedly between GM Glen Sather and former assistant and current Coyotes GM Don Maloney.  Sather would send AHL defenseman and promising defensive prospect Bobby Sanguinetti for struggling forward Peter Mueller.

Although the former 8th overall pick managed a measly six points in his first 26 games it will take more to land him.  Still young at 21 years of age, Mueller averaged 48 points through his first two seasons.  Regardless of his slump he remains a vital part of a young Coyotes core and probably would not be moved until the trade deadline if at all.

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What’s Eating Steve Mason?

12/08/2009
Jackets vs. Flames

Has the ghost of Jim Carey come to haunt last year’s Calder Trophy winner?

Say it isn’t so!

For those unfamiliar, Carey was a star NHL netminder in Washington for two brilliant seasons in the mid-90s, before being traded and subsequently fading into hockey obscurity faster than you can say….uh…er…Jim Carey.

Speaking for Canadian hockey fans everywhere, there were visions of greatness for the lad from Oakville, Ontario as he ascended the stage last June at the NHL awards ceremony to accept his trophy. With a humbling level of modesty and graciousness, he bowed to Tim Thomas in the Vezina race but we all believed that one day his day would come.

Could the script have been written more perfectly?

As a Canadian kid with a stellar hockey pedigree he dominated and won gold at the 2008 WJC. He started last season in Syracuse recovering from off-season knee surgery, logically it would take a year in the minors for development and tuning. However, a month into the season and after only a few minor league starts, he got the call to Columbus due to Pascal Leclaire injuring his ankle.

After winning his first NHL game, he went on to get his first NHL shutout several games later. Through November and December Mason played brilliantly, winning Rookie-of-the Month honour for both months. The wins and shutouts began piling up and Leclaire, having returned from injury, had a front row seat from the bench. Coach Ken Hitchcock rode the hot hand through the season and Mason’s hand never cooled down. In March ’09 GM Scott Howson traded the injury prone Leclaire to Ottawa, confident that their goalie of the future was in fact their goalie of the present.

How could this fine specimen of a goaltender NOT be the real deal?

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Trade Rumors: Whole Lot of Nothing in Columbus

12/01/2009
Columbus Blue Jackets v Anaheim Ducks

TSN’s Darren Dreger wrote that the Blue Jackets were looking to move a wing for a defenseman if there is a “right fit”.  Clearly the injury to Rostislav Klesla (right) appears scary as the defender ranks third on the team in TOI, averaging a little over 20 minutes a game.  This injury comes with Marc Methot already out, a 24-year-old defenseman who averages over 19 minutes a game.  Needless to say, GM Scott Howson needs to make a move soon or his team could fall out of the race. Although they appear to want to improve from within, I think they will be forced to trade a younger asset.

The options at wing are: Jared Boll, Michael Blunden, Alexandre Picard, Jacub Voracek, Rick Nash, Kristian Huselius and/or Antoine Vermette and RJ Umberger. Looking at this list, I am pretty sure Nash, Voracek, Huselius, Vermette and Umberger are not getting moved while Blunden and Picard probably would not fetch much.  If Derek Dorsett is healthy, he could make Boll expendable.  Another option is Nikita Filatov.

Quick to rebut, Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch says Howson has not talked to a single GM and is not actively pursuing a trade. Portzline makes it abundantly clear that a trade is not brewing right now.  Most trade talk starts around February but with the Olympics who knows how things will play out.

What are your thoughts? Who do you see being moved?

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-Alexander Monaghan
NHLHS Founder
thehotstove@gmail.com


Trade Rumors: Not So Lazy Sunday

11/29/2009
2008 NHL Entry Draft, Round One

Just a couple of trade rumors going around the league.

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are not looking to make a move at the moment according to Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch.  As of this writing only two teams have less wins than the Blue Jackets in the last ten games, the Oilers and Hurricanes.
    GM Scott Howson believes the team as it is currently constructed needs to and should improve.  If we profile Howson a bit we can see he tends to bring in younger players via trade, picking up Fedor Tyutin and Antoine Vermette in separate deals last season.  If he was to make a move like this, it would likely have to be later in the year when more teams fall out of the race.  It could also involve moving a valuable young player who has fallen out of favor such as he did with Pascal Leclaire and Nikolai ZherdevNikolai Filatov anybody?
  • Chris Botta’s Islanders Point Blank reports that the Islanders will spend cap room to make the playoffs.  As Botta mentions, the Isles need two top six forwards preferably a center and left wing.  With their salary cap situation the way it is, GM Garth Snow can make a salary dump type move and acquire a good player without giving up a high draft pick or solid prospect.  A quick look around the League renders very few clear-cut sellers.  Pure speculation but Paul Kariya or Matt Cullen would make sense if their teams decide to sell.
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