Tag:Scott Howson
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:11 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 12:47 pm
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Nash: 'Felt I could be a huge part' of rebuild

By Brian Stubits

Just when you thought the Rick Nash story was going to die down after the trade deadline came and went with him still in Columbus, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson decided to reveal at the post-deadline news conference that it was Nash who approached the team about a trade.

Well on Tuesday Nash had his first chance to talk about the trade deadline and his request to leave the only franchise he has ever known.

"I was informed by management that there was a rebuild, a reshape, of the team, and I personally felt I could be a huge part of that, toward bringing assets in," Nash said after the team's skate. "I think that was in my view that was the best thing for the team, the organization, and personally for my career."

It sounds noble to be sure. And I'm not even going to be the cynic here and say there's no truth to that, that Nash is trying to remain the good guy. He's been incredibly dedicated and loyal to that franchise, I believe he was interested in helping them build for the future.

Just don't be fooled into not reading that Nash just doesn't want to be part of it. The organization has more or less been in a perpetual state of rebuilding. Can't blame Nash for being ready to play on a winning team. He'll take the martyr role in the process.

Here is an interesting back and forth from today's media availability that allows you to read through the lines however you choose.

"I think the biggest thing is when management said they were going to make a rebuild and a reshape, I thought the best thing for the team and for the organization would be to get assets for me, and I thought it would be best for my career."

Reporter: "Best for your career, to go somewhere else?"

Nash: "To be part of the rebuild."

What will be interesting to see now is how the fans in Columbus treat Nash. They have beloved him as the face of the franchise for years. Now, we'll have to wait and see.

"I don’t know what to expect," Nash said. "I think I’ve been with these fans my whole 9-year, 10-year career here and I love them no matter what. They’re a great fan base, loyal. They’ve been patient with this organization and this team, and no matter what the reception is I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for our fans."

I'm going to go out on a limb here (not really) and say the overwhelming majority won't be mad at Nash. I doubt many if any of them could blame him for wanting to leave, whatever the reason. If his intentions really were as noble as he says then there's definitely no way they could feel scorn for him.

Now that Nash's retort is out of the way, this can be put on the backburner until the summer. On to the playoff push.

More from Eye on Hockey

Howson reveals Nash requested trade

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

Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:53 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 6:07 pm
 

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

The Nashville Predators were the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline's biggest winners. (Getty)

By: Adam Gretz

It shouldn't be a surprise that Monday turned out to be, for the most part, a quiet day as the 3 ET trade deadline passed.

Increased parity around the league and the fact nearly every team in the NHL still thinks it has a chance to make the playoffs this season reduced the number of true sellers to no more than four or five (If that). That, of course, made it nearly impossible to strike many impact deals, not to mention the sky-high prices teams were apparently putting on their players.

In the end, Rick Nash is still a Columbus Blue Jacket. Steve Ott is still a Dallas Star.  Roman Hamrlik and Mike Knuble are still Washington Capitals. Ryan Suter is still a Nashville Predator.

And speaking of the Predators, if they wanted to send a message to Suter and his partner in crime on the blue line, Shea Weber, not to mention the rest of the organization, the fan base and the NHL as a whole that they're ready to start going for it, they certainly did so on Monday.

Or attempted to, anyway.

The Predators were one of the busiest teams in the NHL over the past week, and after acquiring Hal Gill from the Montreal Canadiens last week for a couple of draft picks, they made two of the biggest moves on Monday by acquiring Andrei Kostitsyn from the Canadiens for two more draft picks, and then grabbed Paul Gaustad and a draft pick from the Buffalo Sabres for a first-round pick.

The Gaustad trade is a bold one. Perhaps even a little crazy given the price they paid for a role player that also happens to be an unrestricted free agent after the season. But he's a valuable player that is going to help, and now that everything has settled the Predators are a deeper, better team than they were at this time last week.

As general manager David Poile said "These trades have certainly given us a chance to play with the big boys this year."
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Winners

Los Angeles Kings: The Kings big trade came earlier in the week when they landed  Jeff Carter from the Columbus Jackets, giving the team the goal-scoring help it desperately needed, and reuniting him with his long-time teammate, Mike Richards. As I pointed out the night of the deal, the Kings were able to acquire Richards and Carter over the past year in two separate trades that did not require them to give up any of their own franchise, core players, which is pretty big score.

Buffalo Sabres: When word surfaced early on Monday that the asking price for Gaustad would be a first-round draft pick, there was some disbelief, as well as the assumption that as the day progressed that price would drop. The Sabres didn't back down from their demands and ended up getting the first-round pick they wanted for a player that had chance to lose for nothing over the summer.

They also addressed their need for young talent down the middle by striking what was perhaps the biggest deal of the day, sending Zach Kassian to the Vancouver Canucks for Cody Hodgson.

Minnesota Wild: In what was simply a hockey trade that saw two teams swap different types of defensemen the Oilers shipped Tom Gilbert to Minnesota in exchange for Nick Schultz. The Oilers traded an offensive-minded player for a defensive one, the Wild did the exact opposite, but ended up picking up the better player. Gilbert is going to help Minnesota a lot more than Schultz will help Edmonton.

Ottawa Senators: Saturday's addition of goaltender Ben Bishop is one of those deals that could sneak under the radar but provide a big return. Bishop is a highly regarded prospect and with Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak filling the position for the foreseeable future in St. Louis, Bishop wasn't going to get much of an opportunity. He might get it in Ottawa, especially in the short-term now that Craig Anderson is sidelined, and the Senators were able to get him without giving up much in return. Solid addition at a fair price at the right time.

Losers

Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets: The most shocking development to come out of the Rick Nash drama on Monday wasn't that he didn't get traded. For all of the rumors and speculation that followed his name over the past week, it's not a huge surprise that he's still a member of the Blue Jackets on Monday evening. The insanity really started to kick in when.general manager Scott Howson admitted in his Monday afternoon press conference that Nash initially approached the team and asked for a trade, putting the entire process in motion.

Why Howson would admit this is a mystery, but it's becoming pretty obvious that even though Nash will finish this season in Columbus, he's probably not going to be there at the start of next season. Especially now that his (current) general manager pretty much tossed him in front of the bus.

The only question that remains is whether or not Howson will be the man to make the inevitable trade over the summer. And given the return Columbus received on its two trades this past week, selling off Antoine Vermette and Jeff Carter for what amounts to Jack Johnson and some magic beans, not to mention the way he fumbled the Nash situation helping to put a nice bow on a season that only seems to get worse, it's worth asking who will be making that call from the general manager's office.

Of course, Nash isn't completely without blame in this mess either. His agent commented over the weekend that it would be best for a trade to be done sooner rather than later, and if Nash himself were really that desperate to get out of Columbus he wouldn't have limited the Jackets' potential trade partners by only offering to waive his no-trade clause for a short-list of teams, and one that his agent claims will not grow over the summer.

This appears to be a no-win situation for Columbus and its fans.

Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks goaltending and defense has been a sore spot this season, and their only major move was to add Johnny Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets. Not sure if that's going to be enough.

Carolina Hurricanes: After re-signing Tuomo Ruutu and Tim Gleason, two popular names in trade speculation over the past month, the Hurricanes did not deal Bryan Allen or Jaroslav Spacek, two players that are eligible for unrestricted free agency after the season, which means they could possibly walk out the door for no return. It's still possible that one (or both) can be re-signed, which could be exciting ... if you're interested in keeping together a team that's currently 14th in the Eastern Conference. 

Teams that stayed quiet

Pittsburgh Penguins: For the first time under general manager Ray Shero the Penguins did not make a move on, or near, the NHL's trade deadline. With the way the team is playing right now and the makeup of its roster, with Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal leading the way, a move wasn't really needed. This team is playing well enough as it is, doesn't appear to have many holes and looks like a team that can be a favorite and top contender for the Stanley Cup.

But the mindset around Pittsburgh seems to be that the lack of a move is a positive sign that Sidney Crosby could be on the verge of a return, or that he will eventually be "the big addition" for the roster. That's all well and good, and if it works out that way, fantastic. But assuming anything right now regarding Crosby is a major stretch. Nobody knows for sure when he'll be back, and it's worth pointing out that his last return lasted all of 10 games. Still a lot of uncertainty around that entire situation.

Washington Capitals: The Capitals were expected to be one of the busiest teams on Monday, especially after their decision to move center Nicklas Backstrom to the long-term injured list, opening up a pretty significant amount of salary cap space ahead of the deadline.

In the end the Capitals did nothing, which seems to be a pretty big shock around the NHL. But is it?

The Capitals could have certainly used a center, but with the way this team has looked for much of the season it's hard to imagine there being a move out there that was going to help this team get over the hump this year. Why give up significant long-term assets to chase after the No. 7 or 8 playoff spot when a deep postseason run doesn't look like it's a legitimate possibility?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 3:34 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 8:22 pm
 

Nash stays put; Howson says Nash requested move

Columbus did exactly that, keeping No. 61. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The deadline has come and gone and Rick Nash remained with the Columbus Blue Jackets. That's going to make for an awkward end to what has been a very miserable season in Columbus.

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson didn't help it become less awkward when he told the media at his post deadline news conference that it was Nash who approached the team about a trade, not the other way around.

"With respect to Rick Nash. He approached us and asked us to consider a trade. We agreed to accomodate his request as long as we could get a deal that would provide us with cornerstone pieces to help us compete for a Stanley Cup championship in the coming years," Howson said. "It did not happen by 3 o'clock today. This is too important to our franchise and our fans to do a deal that is not in our best interest. We pursued a number of options, but none provided the value back that we could justify trading a player of Rick's caliber.

"It doesn't really matter how close we were because it didn't happen. We had significant discussions today, but it didn't happen."

For the last two weeks the ebbs and flows of the Nash story were as constant as the ocean tides. The biggest name on the trade block by a long ways, the deals being discussed were more than blockbusters. They would have been franchise definers.

But much like the rest of the 2012 trade deadline, it didn't get done. Really, it exemplifies the entire deadline. It was a dull a trade deadline as we've seen in a long, long time. We thought last year was quiet with only 16 deals on deadline day. This year beat that by one deal.

All along the Jackets were demanding a very high price for Nash, and rightfully so. Scott Howson absolutely had to get a huge return for Nash and was dead set on getting it.

"The price was high and I don't apologize for that," Howson said. "It had to be high."

The Rangers, long viewed as the front-runners, were reportedly out on Sunday night of the Nash hunt. But they ramped it back up according to reports. A lot.

In fact, Darren Dreger of TSN said they made a very serious final push in the waning hours.

That mammoth offer? According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, this is what it looked like:

Columbus GM Scott Howson rejected what is believed a Rangers' final offer of Dubinsky, 21-year-old defenseman Tim Erixon, 2011 first-rounder J.T. Miller, 2010 second-rounder Christian Thomas and a first-round selection in this June's Entry Draft.

That didn't fit Howson's high price and I can't blame him too much. He wanted one of four guys (Michael Del Zotto, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh). The addition from previous reported offers was Christian Thomas, but it still wasn't enough.

Now all this means is that the talks will be put on hold. It really seems like this whole thing spun out of control so much that there is no way Nash can return to the Blue Jackets next season. The activity will pick up again in the summer time and you're likely going to see the same teams mentioned in the chase: The Rangers as well as the San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Nash's agent said his list of teams he'll accept a trade to won't expand in the summer, so there likely won't be many surprise contenders, but you never know.

"He's a member of our team right now, he's our captain," Howson said. "That's not going to change, nothing's going to change. Obviously we are going to look at all of our options as we move forward. We'll see what happens once we get around the draft and this summer."

Howson essentially backed the bus up over his captain today. In no way did he really help this situation with his comments. Admitting that Nash came to him wasn't a great start to rehabbing the image, nor is it good in his pursuit of getting a great return. It became even more clear after this that Nash can't remain in Columbus now. He actively wants out and now everybody knows that. That strengthens the suitors' resolve in not caving to Howson's demands. Eventually if anyone caves you have to think it is Howson.

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

Posted on: February 26, 2012 11:00 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 11:03 pm
 

Reports: Rangers no longer in Rick Nash chase

Columbus fans might get their wish ... for the remainder of this season at least. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

It looks like those fans at Madison Square Garden last weeks changint "We don't want you!" to Rick Nash are going to get their wish. At least for now, they aren't.

Multiple outlets reported on Sunday that the Rangers, long seen as the favorite to swing a deal for Nash if he were dealt before the trade deadline on Monday afternoon, are out of the race. They just weren't willing to bend to the Blue Jackets' insistent asking price.

Here's more from Katie Strang of ESPN New York.

Barring a drastic change, a deal to bring the prized winger to New York does looks unlikely, a source told ESPNNewYork.com

The Rangers were believed to be the front-runners for the former No. 1 pick whose availability has dominated trade talks in the days leading up to the deadline, but New York does not appear to be willing to concede to Columbus' demands.

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson's asking price for the franchise player is reportedly significant; according to multiple reports he is asking for a roster player, top prospect and a first-round pick, if not more.

All along the rumors had it that the Jackets wanted either Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh or Derek Stepan and the Rangers weren't going to surrender any of those players. It was a stalemate and neither was willing to cave.

The asking price for Nash has always been high in this saga. Not that you can blame Columbus GM Scott Howson for staying so demanding in it all, mind you. But to make it a bit laughable, Darren Dreger of TSN says that that high price has actually gone up.

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This Nash saga has gone back and forth a lot. When his agent spoke up for the first time about the rumors, it sounded like the urgency was being put on the Jackets to get a deal done sooner rather than later. Then a contender falls by the wayside and the cost reportedly goes up.

It would appear to leave the Maple Leafs and possibly the San Jose Sharks in the conversation. There is also the possibility of dark horses in the Predators and maybe even the Flyers. But really it doesn't seem like the Jackets are going to find a deal that's amenable to them and Nash to where he'll be dealt on Monday.

Then again, who knows? We'll just have to wait and see by 3 ET on Monday.

More from Eye on Hockey

Nash: "I'm a Blue Jacket today"
Nash's agent speaks, Preds trying to get in

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

Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:05 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 1:06 pm
 

Nash watch: Agent speaks, Preds trying to get in

Will Nash have a new jersey on Monday afternoon? (US Presswire)

By Brian Stubits

In the last day or so I went from being not so optimistic that Rick Nash would be traded before Monday's deadline to being at the point of a coin flip. That's what one little statement from an agent can do.

For the first time since the Nash trade talk picked up a few weeks back, his agent Joe Resnick shared his thoughts on the situation. And they put a little pressure on Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson.

"We're hopeful a deal can get done prior to the trade deadline that is fair and equitable for the Blue Jackets," Resnick told TSN. "However, if a deal is not reached, then the list of acceptable teams will not change at a later date."

So much for the idea of summer opening up the market.

It already seemed like a good idea to get a deal done before the deadline passes for Columbus. You knew once the word spread they were willing to listen to offers his days in Columbus were done. There was just no backtracking from how far things had gone. Especially now. It's to the point where Nash's camp is "hopeful" for a trade before the deadline? Talk about a lame duck if he sticks around.

The question then becomes who backs down for a deal to get done? Scott Howson has maintained his high asking price while teams like the Rangers and Maple Leafs haven't backed off their insistence to not include certain players (see: Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh and Jake Gardiner).

All the while, the Rangers remain the favorite if Nash is to go in the next 26 hours. Here's the latest from Larry Brooks of the New York Post:

One informed source told The Post that Sather has held firm in his refusal to send 2009 first-rounder Chris Kreider, the Boston College winger who is regarded as a can’t-miss prospect, to the Blue Jackets for Nash. Neither will the general manager agree to move young blue-line chips Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto.

A second source told The Post that Sather has agreed to include 21-year-old defenseman Tim Erixon in the package that would go to Columbus in exchange for Nash, who has indicated a willingness to waive his no-move clause for a deal to a select number of big-market teams.

It is unclear whether Sather is willing include 2012 first-rounder J.T. Miller in the package for Nash that would include Brandon Dubinsky, a future first-rounder, and likely at least another well-regarded prospect.

But there is another team at least trying to enter the conversation. The Nashville Predators are as big of buyers right now as they ever have been. They are trying to prove to their defensive Stars Ryan Suter and Shea Weber that they are committed to winning it all in Nashville so they'll re-sign.

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And they have reportedly put forth a pretty good looking offer for the Jackets to consider. They apparently have a standing offer on the table for the Jackets and Nash and Predators beat writer David Boclair speculates it would likely include Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis or Jonathon Blum, a first-round pick and maybe a little more.

Keep in mind that Nash has a no-trade clause and at no point have the Predators been rumored to be on that list. If you are to gauge based on the teams that are thought to be on it -- Rangers and Leafs for starters -- Nashville doesn't seem to fit that bill, either. Oh, and the Predators play in the same division as the Blue Jackets. So there's that.

The odds of getting a deal done with Nashville seem so remote from two fronts. But still, Section 303 points out that perhaps it could all be too much for either the Jackets or Nash to say no.

The Predators are willing to give up a Stepan-type (Wilson), a young blueliner with the same offensive upside (if not moreso) as Del Zotto and McDonagh (Ellis), a little insurance in Laakso and a first round draft choice for the same player that those other GM’s are saying no to.

If you’re Columbus, this is the best deal on the table right now by far. This is when the motivated parties come together and do what’s best for everyone involved and make the deal.

Howson goes to Nash’s camp and says “Look, you want out by Monday. This is your chance. Nashville has offered far and away the best deal. Take it or stick around until the summer.” At that point, Nash and his agent have a decision to make. Accept the trade to Music City where Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne and future Norris Trophy winners Weber and Suter await or stay in the Buckeye State with the likes of Steve Mason between the pipes and an overpaid mediocre defense corps.

Wishful thinking to be sure, but there is some soundness to the conversation. I just can't see Howson dealing within the division even if Nash agreed to a move to Nashville.

So this all sets up for a very interesting final day of the Nash trade deadline sweepstakes. The heat is on Howson to move now, nobody likes a lame duck. It becomes a question now of who blinks first. Or if anybody will blink.

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

Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:15 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 2:04 pm
 

Is Kings captain Dustin Brown now on the block?

Brown has 15 goals and 17 assists on the season for L.A. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Almost as soon as the Los Angeles Kings snagged Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jack Johnson and a first-round draft pick, the buzz picked up about another Kings trade. This one would actually be the team moving out one of their better scorers. And their captain, no less.

TSN's Bob McKenzie -- whose word is about as good as gold in these matters -- reported late on Thursday night/early Friday morning that the Kings were looking to trade Dustin Brown.



Of course things in the hockey rumor world are never that easy. Several hours after the water cooler talk heated up around Brown being available, CBC's Elliotte Friedman reports that Brown is off the trading block. 


So, it might be easier to list the teams who aren't interested in Brown. Here, I'll put my insider use to work and take care of that right here. These are the teams who don't want Brown: ........ (*crickets) .....

Who wouldn't want Brown, anyway? He has one of the most team-friendly contracts in the entire NHL. He is signed through this season and the next two for a cap hit of $3.175 million per season. For a guy who is a captain and who, until this season, had consistently been in the mid-to-high 20s in goals throughout his career with a high of 33 in 2007-08? Sign me up.

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It does beg the question, then, of why would the Kings want to get rid of him? If everybody else would like him, that should be a sign you have somebody worth keeping around.

Well there are a couple of theories. McKenzie hypothesizes that the Kings do like Brown as a player but he leaves something to be desired as a captain and that Mike Richards is going to assume that role. Seems to me it would be a lot easier to just take away the C, but hey. Another thought is that he could be shipped to get draft picks back after the Kings have unloaded a few.

This much is certain: The trade market just got a whole lot more interesting. I'm not going to say that Brown has the same upside that Nash does, but he's a pretty darn good player. And he's less than half the price of Nash. Both guys are having subpar seasons, so they're kind of a wash there.

That's where it adds some skepticism for me. as mentioned, Brown is having a poor season. It would be selling low instead of high and that's not usually a good business strategy. However if they can still get a high return, then I suppose it doesn't much matter. Everybody on the team is having a down year, that has to be taken into consideration by everybody.

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson can't like this. All of a sudden there has become a much cheaper alternative to his highly coveted forward. That's not going to help the asking price remain high.

If there is serious traction to this Brown talk, then that only decreases the chances that Nash is traded in the next couple of days, I'd say. Teams will focus on Brown first would be my guess and then once that card is played it will be too late and the Nash sweepstakes will have to reopen in the summer. I already thought the chances for Nash actually being dealt this month weren't great and this doesn't do much to help.

And this, by the way, is obligatory. Any post with Brown must include the following video. From what I've been told, that's a blogger's requirement.

More from Eye on Hockey

Kings acquire Carter from Columbus
How L.A. reunited Carter and Richards

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

Posted on: February 23, 2012 5:07 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 5:15 pm
 

Nash Dash: How would Nash fit with Sharks?

What Nash would look like in San Jose. 

By Brian Stubits

In the days leading up to the trade deadline (Monday, Feb. 27) we're going to keep tabs on the biggest name on the block, Columbus Blue Jackets star and captain Rick Nash.

The list of teams rumored to be in on Nash isn't incredibly long and it's the usual suspects that you'd expect to be in on a big-name, high-priced star like Nash. His wish list -- put into song so wonderfully -- was supposedly five teams long with possible Wild cards in the mix too.

We're going to take a look at each of the rumored wish-list teams and how Nash would fit, looking today at the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks were on Rick Nash's rumored wish list from the moment it was first reported and speaking only for myself here, I didn't anticipate they'd be in the conversation much. It was holding true with most all of the talk surrounding the Rangers and Kings.

Then TSN's Darren Dreger reported not only that the Sharks were definitely in the conversation, they were making a push.

At the heart of the matter, one of the driving forces in the connection of Nash and San Jose is his relationship with Joe Thornton. Nash and Jumbo Joe are good friends. Not to mention they'd make a pretty damn good pairing on the top line. Remember, Thornton helped Jonathan Cheechoo to some ridiculous numbers in San Jose, imagine what he could do for Nash.

The Sharks are still in first in the Pacific, but it's not unfair to say they could withstand for some reinforcements. They are now tied with the surging Coyotes and are only three points up on the offensively inept Kings. With the Canucks and Red Wings pulling away from the pack atop the West, the Sharks are going to need to find a way to go toe to toe if they want to get back to the Western Conference finals and go further.

What it would do is give the Sharks another left winger, a position where Patrick Marleau resides. But that's not a problem, no team will ever complain about having too many left wingers who could play on the top line. As I touched on yesterday, the Kings would love to have that problem.

As is the question with every team that could potentially land Nash, though, is what would it take to get him? Dreger reported the Jackets asked for Logan Couture but were immediately rebuked by the Sharks on that request. Hey, no harm in asking if you're Scott Howson.

It was speculated from Andy Strickland at True Hockey that they could ask for Joe Pavelski too. I said yesterday that I'm not sure even straight up that would be worth it for San Jose, so let me explain a little more here.

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I'm a big Pavelski fan. I really like his game and he's taking it to a new level this season, already at his career high in goals for one season. He is excellent in the face-off circle. Digging into the advanced stats, Pavelski is second among Sharks forward in Relative Corsi behind only Thornton. He's a valuable player. That's not to say all 30 GMs wouldn't pull the trigger on a Pavelski-for-Nash swap, it's just that I was saying you're already starting at a very high price with Pavelski and we aren't talking about a slouch here.

Purely speculation on my end here, I haven't seen this even rumored, but you'd have to wonder if Thomas Greiss would be in the conversation. The Sharks obviously would like to have a good young goaltender around for many years, but Antti Niemi is their No. 1, the guy they have invested in and he's not necessarily an old guy at 28.

Not that there would be any concerns with how Nash would fit with any team, but it's hard to imagine a better fit than with San Jose considering the relationship with Thornton. The question is do the Sharks have the prospects and gumption to pull it off.

One thing that is important to remember in all of this is that Nash will have a serious decision to make. This is a matter of moving to a new home for many years, it's not something you decide on a whim (most of the time). And San Jose has prided itself in being a good home for hockey players. It's little wonder why not many guys seem to leave San Jose.

Here is what Sharks general manager Doug Wilson told Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area.

“First of all, I didn’t read that story, I haven’t gotten into my clips yet. We don’t talk about other team’s players, and any conversation I do have with a fellow GM would be kept in confidence. Historically, though, one of the most important things we do is make this be a place where players do want to play, and make it an attractive destination for players.”

I've grown skeptical that any team will be able to pull the trigger on a deal before the deadline on Monday and this will drag into the summer. Either way, San Jose sure seems like it could fit well.

More from Eye on Hockey

How would Nash fit with Kings?
How would Nash fit with Blueshirts?
San Jose stepping into Nash talks?
Update on Nash, other rumors
Nash down to five teams?
Nash not untouchable for Columbus

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

Posted on: February 22, 2012 5:19 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 4:04 pm
 

Nash Dash: How would Nash fit with Kings?

What Nash would look like in L.A. 

By Brian Stubits

In the days leading up to the trade deadline (Monday, Feb. 27) we're going to keep tabs on the biggest name on the block, Columbus Blue Jackets star and captain Rick Nash.

The list of teams rumored to be in on Nash isn't incredibly long and it's the usual suspects that you'd expect to be in on a big-name, high-priced star like Nash. His wish list -- put into song so wonderfully -- was supposedly five teams long with possible Wild cards in the mix too.

We're going to take a look at each of the rumored wish-list teams and how Nash would fit, looking today at the Los Angeles Kings.

There aren't a whole lot of certainties in this Rick Nash trade saga. Who's really on the list of teams he'd OK a trade too? Is that list exhaustive? Would anybody actually pay the Blue Jackets' asking price? They go on.

But if there is one thing that we can pretty much say without hesitation it's that no team involved in this conversation -- except for maybe the Blue Jackets themselves -- need Nash more than the Kings. It's been argued that nobody needs to get Nash more than Kings GM Dean Lombardi. His job literally could depend on it.

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The Kings are an embarrassment to offense. Sorry Kings fans to put it so bluntly, but with 2.07 goals per game that's something you already know. The Kings are in the process of letting an exceptional season from goaltender Jonathan Quick go to waste. If they could have given him just a little more offense this season -- I'll be kind and say about half-a-goal more per game, which would put them in the middle of the league -- he'd be firmly in the Vezina conversation.

But they aren't scoring that man. And it's starting to increase the heat in L.A. Before the season this was seen as a team ready to make that jump, possibly compete. By so far falling short of those expectations, Lombardi's leash is getting tight.

In spite of it all, the Kings are still in the playoff picture, holding the eighth spot in the West. The postseason has to be the goal at this point to hopefully try and keep the momentum going. That's why Nash has L.A. hockey fans salivating.

The great thing about possibly going to L.A. is that it would give Nash the centermen he was waiting so long for in Columbus. He finally got one in Jeff Carter this season but injuries didn't allow them to play together for very long before the trade talk started up. But in L.A. he'd have a couple of quality centers in Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards to play alongside.

From L.A.'s perspective the fit is great. It's not just that Nash is a scorer, but he plays on the left wing. The assumption would be he would join Kopitar and Dustin Brown on the No. 1 line which all of a sudden doesn't seem so bad.

But of course it's all easier said than done. Because as we've noted, the Blue Jackets want a lot for Nash, as they should. The package from L.A. to get a deal done has long been rumored to be Jack Johnson, Jonathan Bernier, probably another prospect and a high pick.

As the Nash world turns, the indications are getting stronger that L.A. is a less and less likely landing spot for Nash at this time. There are other options that might pop up like Ales Hemsky or possibly even some of the Sabres. So as nice as he might fit and go a long way toward solving L.A.'s scoring issues, the asking price might prove too much for even a desperate GM like Lombardi.

More from Eye on Hockey

How would Nash fit with Blueshirts?
San Jose stepping into Nash talks?
Update on Nash, other rumors
Nash down to five teams?
Nash not untouchable for Columbus

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