Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Howson: Not a blog reader

I had some advice for Columbus GM Scott Howson last week, but according to today's Columbus Dispatch, he wasn't listening:
If Richards joins the Blue Jackets, an NHL source said, Howson is more likely to do what it takes to sign Foote and make a full-on push for the playoffs, perhaps acquiring other players, as well.
With Columbus only five points out of the Western Conference's final playoff spot, coach Ken Hitchcock and his players have made less-than-subtle pleas to keep the club intact.
Moses is going to have to part the waters for this team to make the postseason.

Yes, it appears the Blue Jackets are close, but having played more games than the rest of the bubble teams (64) and on pace to finish in 12th with just more than 85 points, they're out of the running.

And while fans have been turning away this season, the worst possible move to make here would be to bet the farm by hanging onto all of the team's pending UFAs. This team is getting closer to being in the mix, and could really take a step forward next season with a few new pieces.

Things got goofy last season at the deadline when desperate teams like Atlanta and Nashville made ridiculous pitches for players and overpaid, and I'd hate to see that happen in a fragile market like Columbus.

Howson has apparently "offered forwards Gilbert Brule and Dan Fritsche, and defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen" for Brad Richards.



At 10:25 a.m., February 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brule is starting to look like a bit of a bust. Let's put it this way -- no one is giving Bob Gainey a bad time for passing on him at #5 anymore. I was amongst those who thought the Habs were nuts for letting him slide by, which shows you what I know. To the extent Columbus can peddle Brule to someone as a legit prospect, they will be doing well.

I guess the attraction with Richards is the fact that the cap is rising, meaning that more teams think they can deal with his big ticket for the next three years. They will also be gambling that Richards' decline this year is temporary due to the nagging injury with which he was struggling, and not part of a longer term fall.

At 10:26 a.m., February 26, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I'm not 100 per cent against Columbus getting Richards, who could really help them next season, but it should be done in the context of setting them up for success in the future — not this season.

At 11:06 a.m., February 26, 2008, Blogger Jason Savage said...

Agreed, James. I don't have a problem with dealing Brule, Tollefson & Fritsche for Richards because Richards won't be a rental.

I also agree with Howson's (apparent) intention of re-signing Foote as his leadership is incredibly valuable to Columbus' young core.

However, move Fedorov, Peca, and Vyborny and don't even think about moving Brassard or Mason.

Nash with Richards (and Zherdev on the Power Play) would be a pretty nice combo in the coming years.


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