Tag:2012 Trade Deadline
Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:15 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 1:43 pm
By: 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 10:24 am
Edited on: February 14, 2012 3:11 pm
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:
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.
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.
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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Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:58 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 1:27 pm
WASHINGTON -- This season began with such promise for the Washington Capitals. They beefed up in an attempt to finally get over the Eastern Conference semifinal hump and hopes were high that this was the team.
It is starting to head toward an end of such despair.
Now granted, there is still time -- and a trade deadline to go -- but this team just isn't the contender so many saw. If you want, blame it on the injuries. It's tough for a team to play without its No. 1 center (Nicklas Backstrom) and No. 1 defenseman (Mike Green). But they aren't the only team dealing with injuries. That's not going to garner much sympathy.
But fact of the matter is they are slipping and are running out of games to pick it up. Depending on what happens with the Panthers take on the Senators on Wednesday night, the Caps could find themselves down by as many as six points in the Southeast Division. Adam Gretz already explained pretty well that that's obviously the worst division in hockey. So being six points back of the worst division leader isn't a good sign.
They have been tough to beat at home. Not for the San Jose Sharks, they weren't. Not on Monday night. The Sharks came in after a tough loss in St. Louis 24 hours ago and beat the Caps down, walking away with a 5-3 win (Caps scored a couple late to make it closer). It was Washington's third loss in a row, second at Verizon Center.
"I don't think we are frustrated," Alex Ovechkin said. "One [game] we have to win, but we didn't win. Everybody's trying. I can't say nobody's trying, nobody's playing 100 percent."
This is why things are hitting critical mass. They have been good at home for almost all of the season and pretty dang bad on the road. Washington's next four are on the road starting with Friday's massive game against the Panthers in Florida. That will follow with dates in Tampa Bay, Carolina and Ottawa too. Not exactly Murder's Row but for a team that struggles on the road, anything is tough.
It's not a stretch to say that they probably need six out of the eight points on that trip. They can't afford to fall any further behind Florida or the rest of their Eastern counterparts.
The good news? There is some. Ottawa is falling harder than the Caps right now, not making the bottom of the East out of reach.
It's pretty safe to say that the Caps need to do something at the trade deadline. They will be active no doubt. Tonight in Washington 12 scouts were on hand including two from the Blue Jackets, ex-Ducks coach Randy Carlyle (now a scout for Anaheim) and Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier. It's worth noting that this weekend in Columbus two Caps scouts were present.
"The determination is there -- I think -- in this room,” Matt Hendricks said. “I think the focus is there. The execution just isn't there right now."
This coming road trip is a crucial a stretch as any this season. It really could be the season for the Capitals after their recent swoon.
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Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:05 pm
The Los Angeles Kings are still in the playoff hunt and hanging tight behind the San Jose Sharks (who have games in hand) in the Pacific Division. That is all despite bringing up the rear in the NHL as far as goals per game goes and are shooting a putrid 6.8 percent this season.
So if there is any team in the league that needs scoring help at the trade deadline, it's the Kings. Imagine how could they would be if Jonathan Quick had just a little more goal support.
But it's not like top-six forwards are aplenty at this time of year, especially this season. But perhaps there could be one in Colorado as the Avalanche slowly start to slip out of the Western Conference playoff race. Specifically Avalanche forward Paul Stastny.
Before we go any further, note that this is just speculation, nothing more.
With that disclaimer out of the way, here is the gossip from the Fourth Period.
Costs at the trade deadline this year are going to be high, very high. It would take an awful lot to pry Stastny away from Colorado, they aren't exactly scoring goals in bunches that would make him incredibly expendable either. The Avs check in at 23rd in the league in goals per game.
Stastny has been consisent in his six seasons with the Avs, holding the pace again this season. His goal total is likely going to fall in the low-to-mid 20s in goals and assists will get up there in the 40s or 50s. This season he has 14 goals and 22 assists in 54 games. Oh, and he's still just 26.
Good luck offering enough to entice the Avalanche to trade him away. It will take a lot and while Jack Johnson is certainly a good starting point, it would take a little more than that.
As a reminder, you can keep up with all the trade deadline rumors and speculation with our Trade Deadline tracker.
Posted on: February 13, 2012 6:06 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 6:58 pm
Times have gotten rough for the Chicago Blackhawks, real rough. Like no wins in their last eight games rough.
It has led to some speculation that head coach Joel Quenneville's job could be in jeopardy. Imagine that, a team that's still in playoff position firing its coach not even two years after winning a Stanley Cup? Hey, sports are a "what have you done for me lately" business and lately Quenneville's team hasn't done much for anybody other than give opponents points.
Well GM Stan Bowman is trying to put an end to it. He came out with that ol' vote of confidence on Monday, from CSN Chicago.
So, is Quenneville's heat hotter than Hades now? We know how often that vote of confidence goes well for the person they are confident in.
Call me crazy, but this is one of those times where I actually do believe Bowman. Unless the Blackhawks go eight more games without winning, I have a hunch that Quenneville has a job through this season, at the least.
So who should be feeling the heat for this skid, the goaltenders? After all, Ray Emery has a 2.81 goals against average and .901 save percentage ... and his numbers beat starter Corey Crawford (2.99, .898).
Nope, they are safe too, according to Bowman.
Does that mean the Blackhawks will be a completely stand pat team at the deadline at the end of this month? Are there no moves for them to make?
Well, it's still likely that they will look to upgrade the defensive corps. It's been an issue all season long and they could use some reinforcements back there. Of course, there are a lot of teams who want to find some quality defensemen and not a whole of them to be found, especially after Andy Sutton just re-signed with the Oilers.
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Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:32 am
Edited on: February 8, 2012 11:08 am
The trade market is growing staler by the day.
Howson announced on his Twitter account on Tuesday morning that he re-signed veteran Vaclav Prospal to a one-year contract. The 36-year-old Prospal, carrying a cap hit of $2.5 million this season, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this upcoming summer.
According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, not only is Prospal's new contract for the same $2.5 million, it also includes a no-trade clause. Surprising, to say the least.
Considering his age and the team's wreck of a season that they have endured, Prospal figured to be a trade chip for sure. Not that he was going to be the big name on the block -- the Jackets have a couple of others who have that covered in Jeff Carter and Rick Nash -- but you thought they might try to get something, be it a younger player or pick/s.
Admittedly, it's another move by the Jackets that leaves me scratching my head some. I never quite understand the concept of keeping veteran players when you are clearly embarking on a rebuilding phase unless said player is a franchise icon. Prospal isn't exactly Mr. Blue Jacket.
Prospal was a slightly intriguing potential rental player. He has scored nine goals with 24 assists this season while average 18:00 of ice time per game. He has also been one of the few Blue Jackets who has stayed healthy this season, playing in all 53 games thus far.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 12:01 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 2:48 pm
By Eye on Hockey staff
This year's NHL trade deadline comes at 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 27. Until then, the hockey rumors will swirl and the players will twirl with all of the talk.
As usual look for just about every team to covet a top-six forward or top defensemen, each about as elusive as Sasquatch.
This will be your one-stop shop for gossip and speculation for trade action in the NHL. Check back often.
To see the trades that have actually happened, visit our Trade Tracker.
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey on Twitter.
Posted on: February 6, 2012 7:09 pm
The Columbus Blue Jackets have made it pretty clear at this point that they will be sellers when the trade deadline comes around Feb. 27. What else would you expect from a team that's so far in the basement they can't see the closest team in the standings even with their high-beams on.
Jeff Carter has been seen as a clear trade target, assuming they can find a taker for him. But what about their captain, the true face of the franchise Rick Nash? They wouldn't trade him, a very talented player in his prime who really does enjoy being in Columbus.
The prevailing wisdom was no. But the thoughts, they are a changin'.
Here is some new gossip from John Shannon of Sportsnet.
Well isn't that interesting? For a player that is 27 now, the prospect of a Five-Year Plan (non-commie version, of course) wouldn't be that appealing.
While I'm skeptical Jackets GM Scott Howson will find it easy to get suitors for Carter, I doubt there would be any such issues regarding Nash. He's still signed for another six years, but that's easier to stomach than Carter's 10 years. The cap hit is very high at $7.8 million and that would cut down a lot of the contenders who are closer to the cap.
But it's more of the intangibles that make him perhaps more tantalizing. Nash has played fewer than 74 games in only one NHL season and that was in the first year post lockout. More importantly, he's a classic "character guy," one of those players that isn't carrying that stigmatizing baggage with him like a rain cloud in an Acme cartoon.
He's a guy that I can't help but like and feel for. He's been loyal to the Jackets (granted, that kind of cash thrown his way probably helps a bit), is a very good player and seems to be a quality guy. You wish he had experienced more than four playoff games at this point in his career.
If you are the Jackets, it's a tough call and clearly the return has to be right (see: incredibly high). Trading away Nash would be a tough one to sell to the fanbase that is growing ever more frustrated, especially if it's right for the rebuild.
What do you think, should the Blue Jackets even think about trading Nash away?