1) In a stunning rumour we picked up on over the weekend several (now confirmed) reports out of Columbus tell Fauxrumors exclusively that GM Scott Howson is contemplating making a big trade to shake up his moribund roster. No shocker there as the Jackets are at the bottom of the league in terms of win as and points. However (and the reason we sat on this story until we received further independent reports) was that none other than super star Rick Nash is going to be (or already has) been dangled as trade bait!!!! I can already hear some of you out there; "Doesn't Nash have a No Trade Clause"? Yes, he does, but from what our source(s) tell us "he is all over this", and has given Howson a list of teams he'd NOT like to be traded to. From what we have discerned that list only has about 5 teams so Howson has almost free reign to deal here
2) Now, Rick won't come cheaply. Howson will be looking for a (cheaper/younger) 1st line forward, albeit not in Nashs' status, but able to step into the Jackets line up and help their anemic offense. Additionally we're told confidently that Howson will also seek to get an additional top prospect and/or two 1st round picks depending on who his trading partner is, etc. Now, who is being (or will be) targeted by Columbus as a trading partner? At this stage of the season its not easy to simply trade a Nash who makes 7.8 million BUT also has ANOTHER 6 years to go after this one at that same salary/cap-hit. We're told that the owners are on board with this possible move as they need to reduce salary. The Bluejackets have a team payroll of 64 million and going no where fast. Attendance is dismal so they don't feel trading their only super star could cause any more damage than has already been done with their poor play/record. From what we've been told look for this deal to get done by Thanks Giving, else it might wait until nearer the trade deadline in February. Nash has told Jackets management he doesn't want to be dealt during the holiday season.
3) So lets speculate what teams might take on Nash and his LONG/HUGE contract? We have asked all of our usually reliable sources throughout the league and the most common 'rumour'/speculation seems to surround the LA Kings in the West and Flyers in the East. Firstly in LA, they tell us that the recent contract spat with defensemen Drew Doughty has left a lingering bad taste in both management and the player so he could be made available, but Columbus probably would prefer a Kopitar who's contract has only 2 years let unlike Doughty's who has another 7 after this one. Still another Eastern scout tells us he's heard the Flyers might attempt to pry Nash away, thinking he could be the final piece. However in return Howson would demand a combo of either Giroux or Van Riemsdyk along with Braden Schenn. The source tells us that Holmgren would consider Giroux over VanRiemsdyk but would also prefer to trade a future 1st rounder(s) before parting with Schenn. What is clear from all this chatter is that;
- 1- Talks are on going with these and a couple of other teams,
- 2- Its going to take a lot to get Nash and
- 3- With so much salary going back and forth the negotiations are going to be complicated so it won't be an easy deal to get completed quickly.
We will update our readers as we receive additional information.
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