1) Unlike last off season there is considerable intrigue concerning several big name (salaried) NHL stars possibly/definitely being shopped as we approach draft day. We will break up this post into 2 seperate pieces. One today specificly regarding the players that are most definitly on the trade market, followed by players who are not free agents but are still quietly being dangled as trade bait.
First the two players most definitely that are available for the right price:
2) Rick Nash: The big (former) Blue Jacket power forward asked to be dealt midway through last season. Of course regular readers to this blog knew that before it became public. Our post: http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2012/02/bad-blood.html outlines this well. Unfortunately (for Columbus) they are still being run by the inept Scott Howson. Our sources tell us that Howson's demands for Nash are "totally insane". As one western scout told us:" He's (Howson) is asking for the moon and if he doesn't come back to Earth Nash isn't going anywhere". Additionally Nash's enormous contract ( 6 more years with a 7.8 mil cap-hit) make adeal difficult even with a willing partner, and with CBA uncertainty its even more tenuous. So who might be interested?
- WE heard the Bruins inquired early on but the talks ended when Howson asked for BOTH Kreci AND Lucic.
- The Maple Leafs are VERY interested (ofcourse) and have offered Clarke McArthur and Grabovski. Howson, we're told is holding out for more, possibly a goalie AND the Leafs 1st round pick this and next season
- The Flyers and Paul Holmgren are again looking to improve themselves are we're told have looked into acquiring Nash. A package of Van Ryemsdyk, Bobrovsky and a 1st rounder could work we're told. Howson wants more but Holmgren refuses to include Schenn
- The Sharks are another team with keen interest, but we're told Howson would prefer to trade Nash to a Eastern Conference team. The Sharks would offer a package of Joe Pavelski a goalie and picks.
- The Vancouver possibility could solve both teams' problems. The Jackets unload Nash, and the 'Nucks solve their goaltending problems, but is Howson dumb enough to acquire the overpaid Luongo?
- Could Nash stay? Its possible we're told, but its 80: 20 against. Certainly Columbus might need Nash to expand his list of cities if they hope to truly want make a deal. It remains to be seen if Nash will do this considering the events that have gone down leading up to Nash wanting a trade out of Columbus.
Roberto Luongo: The oft (deservedly) maligned Canucks goalie has not publicly asked to be traded, nor has the team said they would, but after the past 2 playoff busts and the emergence of Back-up-? and RFA Cory Schneider its logical that one of them has to go, and Luongo and his big contract, and underwhelming post season record, would appear to be the logical option. So where:
- Chicago: The BlackHawks are one team in need of a goaltending upgrade, but would Vancouver want to deal with a big conference rival?
- Columbus: (See above visa vie Nash). The Jackets are not close to competing for a Cup or even the playoffs so dealing for Luongo makes no sense. That said Scott Howson is their GM so senseless moves are always possible
- Edmonton: The Oilers have an old Kahbibulin and unproven Devan Dubnyk. They also have tons of kids and prospects to deal. Would they want a big contract to go between the pipes? Jordan Eberle or Sam Gagne would have to be included, but NOT one of their most recent 1st overpicks.
- Florida: 'There's No place like home"? The cats feel they are close to competing and T-60 and Clemmensson were not all that great and Roberto's wife is a native Floridian, so why not?
- Tampa Bay; Not home, but close. ;) Steve Yzerman is too savvy to trade for Luongo's bloated contract. He'd probably be happy with Schneider, and has the assets to acquire him, but would vancouver elect to keep Luongo instead?