Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/24/12 at 06:23 PM ET
from Stu Hackel of the Red Light,
Well, the immediate evaluation on the deal overwhelmingly criticized Howson for not getting more in return, a chorus that included my friend and SI.com colleague Adrian Dater and, strangely, the man whose own failures as the first Blue Jackets GM played a large role in their perpetual futility, Doug MacLean (via Twitter), who is now a hockey analyst in Canada.
Of course it may turn out in a few years that the chorus was right and Howson’s deal of Nash, large minor league defenseman Steve Delisle and a conditional third-round selection for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first-round selection in 2013 turns out poorly for Columbus. But we can’t know that yet. And many of the instant analysts have overlooked some other things when assessing this deal.
First, rather than looking at what Howson didn’t get, let’s look at what he did: If Dubinksy and Anisimov play up to their potentials, this trade would provide the Blue Jackets with added size and depth up front, especially at center, where they were pretty thin after they traded Jeff Carter last winter (and the whole Carter situation was a bad miscalculation by Howson). These are good players, second line talents on a deep Rangers team and have a shot to play larger roles in Columbus. If Erixon pans out as the top four defenseman he’s projected to be, it adds to a pretty strong blueline corps that Howson is trying to assemble. If the first round pick next June snares a solid prospect, that’s a plus too.
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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.
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