Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
It’s intriguing to contemplate where the eight-year, $62.4 million contract Rick Nash signed with the Blue Jackets leads.
Nash is an excellent player, obviously, or he couldn’t have commanded those kinds of numbers. He is the team captain, an NHL All-Star and, hopefully, a major piece of a championship puzzle. In the near term and long term, this hockey marriage bodes well.
Nash has given the team and this city the kind of celebrity endorsement every business covets. When NHL free agents and Blue Jackets draft picks try to decide where to spend their futures, there is no stronger signal than the one the strapping winger gave with this signing. The signal is an emphatic thumbs-up, both for the franchise and the city.
But hockey is only part of it. Nash is about to become the kind of athlete we’ve never had here, one who spends most or all of his athletic career in the city, playing for a local team.
One of the postives coming out of the Rich Nash signing, we no longer have to hear Nash headed to Toronto…
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
After efforts by the Maple Leafs to land the Sedin twins and Richmond Hill native Mike Cammalleri fell short earlier this week, there were hopes throughout the city that Brampton’s Rick Nash might somehow be wooed to Toronto when he became eligible to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2010.
Columbus Blue Jackets officials were said to be well aware of the chatter north of the border—talk spearheaded by FAN-590/Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean, the man who drafted Nash first overall in 2002—suggesting a marriage between Nash and the Leafs would make perfect sense down the road.
So much for those aspirations.
via Adam Portzline of Puck-rakers,
The Blue Jackets have signed captain Rick Nash to an eight-year, $62.4 million contract extension, The Dispatch has learned. That’s an annual cap hit of $7.8 million.
The deal will keep Nash under contract with the Blue Jackets through the 2017-18 season.
COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed team captain Rick Nash to an eight-year contract extension that begins in 2010-11 and continues through the 2017-18 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Scott Howson announced tonight. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
“Rick is a Blue Jacket. He is our captain, the foundation of our team and one of the elite players in the National Hockey League and we are very happy that he will continue to call Columbus home for many years to come,” said Howson. “This is an important and exciting day for our franchise and our fans.”
via Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
A source has told The Dispatch that the two sides “are not that far apart at all.” Hard to say, though, how difficult that ground will be to cover.
Word is that two contracts have been discussed—a seven-year deal that would pay between $8 million and $9 million per season, and a 10-year deal that would pay between $7.5 million and $8.5 million. Looks like a no-movement clause is part of the package, too.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Disptach,
After an early-evening meeting with his agent, Joe Resnick, Nash told The Dispatch last night that the initial offer from Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson yesterday fell short of what he had in mind.
“Things didn’t line up the way I anticipated them lining up,” Nash said. “I thought we had a solid chance of getting (a contract) done, especially with all the interest they said they had going into this.
“If this doesn’t happen in the next week, and we can’t hit a number where we’re both satisfied and we both feel it’s fair … if they want me that bad, they’ll get it done.”
Neither Howson nor Nash would reveal specifics in the contract, but sources indicated to The Dispatch that the offer had a five-year term.
I am a bit surprised Nash would say anything after the first day of negotiations.
From Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers:
The Blue Jackets have signed free agent goaltender Mathieu Garon to a two-year contract worth $1.2 million per season, The Dispatch has learned.
From Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers:
The Blue Jackets have signed center Sami Pahlsson to a three-year contract worth $7.95 million, The Dispatch has learned. That’s an annual average salary of $2.65 million.
Update 7:06pm ET: From the Blue Jackets—
“Sami Pahlsson is a very good two-way center who can play against the top players in the league and strengthens our hockey club at the center ice position,” said Howson. “He won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim two years ago, played in the Finals in 2003 and won a gold medal with Sweden at the last Olympics, so he brings valuable experience at the highest level of competition to our dressing room.”
Rich Nash’s agent states they will be listening to the Jackets offer and hopefully a deal can be worked out.
Read the AP story via USA TODAY.
from Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets,
Hello everyone. I just spent my first afternoon in Vegas and the one thing I got out of it was blisters. We went down to the strip and walked EVERYWHERE. I can’t remember the last time I walked that much. We checked out a few of the other hotel-casinos. Caesar’s Palace and the Bellagio were two of them. I gambled a lit bit – slot machines – for fun, but mostly we just took it all in.
There are a ton of shopping places here. We went to Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace and there was an Elvis impersonator actually singing in one of the stores. That was pretty cool… sort of creepy, but cool. There was another place across the street from Bellagio that had a ton of stores, too.
continued (Mason is blogging from the NHL Awards Show)...
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The captain celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday. He has one year remaining on his contract. Beginning July 1, the Jackets can negotiate an extension. Conventional wisdom dictates Nash will re-up this summer or take dead aim at free agency next year—and if the latter course is taken, he will have to be traded, sooner or later, to salvage some value.
One would like to think that Nash wants to stay put. He has said he likes the direction of the team under general manager Scott Howson and coach Ken Hitchcock. He is involved in an assortment of community and charitable projects. He is a quiet sort who does not necessarily miss the din of larger and more rabid markets. He identifies with Blue Jackets fans, and they with him.
While these things will be taken into account, they pale when compared to the import of the contract itself. The next deal Nash signs will likely be the biggest of his career, not only because it will express his desire about where he wants to play, but because he might never again be in a position to make such a monetary windfall.
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