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Category: Columbus-Blue-Jackets

I’ll Stay As Long As I Play

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson doesn’t doubt the words of prized prospect Nikita Filatov, who said he would consider returning to play in Russia if he was unable to become a regular in the lineup.

“Nikita is a pretty sincere guy,” Howson said.

But he also knows what motivates the 19-year-old winger whom coach Ken Hitchcock likens to former NHL standout Pavel Bure.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s driven to be a star in the NHL,” Howson said. “That’s his No. 1 goal in the NHL.”

Last week in Moscow, the winger said he’s happy with the Jackets organization and the direction his career is headed. The only way he would consider leaving for the Russia-based Continental Hockey League (KHL) is if playing time became an issue with the Jackets.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikita+filatov

Rick Nash Can Take It To The Next Level

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

Nash has increased his point total every season since the lockout. With Columbus confident and more offensively balanced, I think we can finally see the power forward hit the numbers players of his skill level are capable of posting.

to find out how, read on....

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Blue Jackets Goal Is To Keep Improving

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

This summer presented a different challenge for Columbus General Manager Scott Howson—finding a way to make a playoff team better.

A postseason wannabe since their inception in 2000, the Jackets earned a franchise-best 92 points last season and made the playoffs for the first time. They were swept out of the first round by the Detroit Red Wings, but Howson said the experience his players gained from that series is what matters most as the franchise moves forward.

“The expectation level goes up from both internally and from our fans,” Howson told NHL.com. “So no longer will a playoff berth and out in the first round be acceptable. We’ve got to raise the bar and that’s what we are trying to do here.”

continued

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It Worked Out OK In Columbus- Tyutin Instead Of Redden

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Jackets wanted Redden for obvious reasons. He was 31 years old, still in his prime. He was good for 30 to 40 points a year, at least, and he had a soaring plus-minus rating. The Jackets wanted and needed a defenseman of his style and stature. They were trumped by the New York Rangers, who offered a six-year deal with an average annual worth of $6.5 million.

Redden didn’t even give the Jackets a chance to match. He signed with the Rangers on the first day of the free-agent season, July 1, 2008….

The trade had risk for both sides. Early last season, when Zherdev was lighting it up in Madison Square Garden, Sather looked like a genius. And Howson was getting grilled on Hockey Night in Canada, which showed Zherdev highlights with pundits doing voice-overs that went, “How could anyone trade this guy?” As the season wore on, the perception reversed. And now, we are close to a final accounting.

Tyutin is entrenched among the Jackets’ top four defensemen, and the Rangers miss him desperately. Backman is an unrestricted free agent.

more

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Steve Mason Still Has Goals To Achieve

from Ryan Pyette of the Toronto Sun,

Five goalies are invited to joust for the Vancouver trip. Three get the call.

The favourites—New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur and Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo—have reached crease superhero status. It’s difficult to imagine a Team Canada without them.

Mason is the youngest and, at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, the biggest. He’ll battle a couple of Stanley Cup winners—Carolina’s Cam Ward and Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury—for the No. 3 spot.

“I’ve played for Canada internationally before (MVP and gold medal at the 2008 world juniors) but this is a whole different level with all the star players in the NHL,” Mason, 21, said. “I idolized Martin Brodeur as a kid and I’ve played against Roberto Luongo, who I really respect.

“It would be unbelievable to get the chance to be part of it. I think the Olympics first hit home for me in 2002 when Canada won it.

“I was (13 years old) and I was at my best friend’s house (in Oakville) and we went out after the gold medal game and played road hockey.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+mason

Blue Jackets May Be Done Dealing

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson might be staring down the fairway on the first tee as you read this.

On Thursday, the day after the Blue Jackets re-signed defenseman Marc Methot to a two-year contract, Howson declared the club’s offseason action pretty much finished.

Howson would like to add an offensive defenseman to the mostly stay-at-home blue line, but, like lots of clubs around the league these days, the Blue Jackets are showing restraint….

Despite the obvious connection to coach Ken Hitchcock, the Jackets have not had talks with free-agent defenseman Sergei Zubov.

more on the Blue Jackets…

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Blue Jackets Need A Puck Moving Dman - How About Zubov?

from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,

With about $10 million in cap space still available, the Jackets could turn to the trade market and target teams who are up against the cap.

Rumors suggested GM Scott Howson was in talks with San Jose about acquiring Christian Ehrhoff, but Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasn’t interested in the return of Jason Chimera. Not yet, anyway.

Tomas Kaberle of the Leafs comes to mind, but with the price GM Brian Burke is asking, I’m not sure the Jackets should go down that road. It’s not time to be so aggressive as to trade away a blue-chip prospect, so Columbus should be eyeing an option where it doesn’t have to give up a valued asset.

To me, the perfect fit is soon-to-be 39-year-old Sergei Zubov.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+zubov

Central Division May Look Different At The Top

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

What lies ahead for the 2009-10 season, in the words of Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, is “the most challenging regular season we’ve had since the early 1990s.”

The Red Wings have won the Central Division every year since the Blue Jackets joined the league in 2000-01, an eight-season run that ranks as the longest current streak in the NHL.

But one must wonder whether a changing of the guard isn’t on the horizon in the Central.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It Is All About Winning Now For Nash

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

When the contract expires—after the 2017-18 season—Nash will be 34 years old, a 15-year NHL veteran, most likely an 11-year captain of the Blue Jackets and in the latter stages of what could be a Hall of Fame career. The 25-year-old chuckled yesterday when asked if he’d picked out a spot for his statue on Nationwide Plaza, but that’s the trajectory his career is on.

“One of the things that Scott (Howson, Blue Jackets general manager) mentioned repeatedly during this process is that the organization sees me as their Steve Yzerman,” Nash said, “a guy who is loyal to the organization and a longtime leader. That appealed to me, too, obviously.

“When you look at the championship teams … they always seem to have (a consistent) captain, whether it’s Sidney Crosby, Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman or Joe Sakic. I think it’s especially important for the homegrown talent to be that guy.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Nash Makes A Statement

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

“A lot of people here in Toronto were counting on the hometown boy to somehow end up playing in Toronto,” Nash said. “But I wanted to make a statement—about how much I appreciate the McConnell family, everybody with the Blue Jackets, the fans and the guys in the room.

“The last five or six years, I’ve really enjoyed living and playing Columbus. I said that all along, but a lot of people aren’t going to believe that until the contract is signed.”

Nash said last Friday was a big night in his life. Yes, he signed a deal that will pay him more money than some of us can imagine. But the contract was consummated while hanging out at his summer retreat in Northern Ontario with five of his best friends.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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