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Deal or no Deal?

Following up from yesterdays post about trying to potentially land an established number one center to play along side Rick Nash, this got me thinking. What type of package would GM Howson have to put together to land a player of Jason Spezza or Patrick Marleau’s caliber.

Between Marleau and Spezza, I believe Marleau would be easier to acquire. San Jose can afford to trade their captain as they have depth down the middle in Thornton, Pavelski and Goc. They also ended the season in disappointment; so they are ready for change and that change could start with a blockbuster deal.

We all know the Sharks have a solid blue line, but they do have question marks between the pipes and on the wing. We do not have to worry Jacket fans; there is not a chance that Howson would even consider trading Mason. Steve is here for the long haul and will one day set records between the pipes. So the only options Howson has left is to trade any wingers, prospects and picks that we may have for Marleau.

When it comes to draft choices, we did loose our second rounder in the Vermette/Leclaire trade. We have our 1st round choice (16 overall) and a kid by the name of Nikita Filatov. In 8 NHL games Nikita already has his first NHL hat trick. He has the potential to be the real deal, but correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Alexandre Picard have that same potential?

By trading for Marleau that means Howson expects his team to be in the playoffs once again. Filatov who was drafted 6th overall may be our last top 10 draft pick for quite sometime. With the type of talent that Filatov has, do you even consider trading him? Voracek and Brassard are still really young but will they be as good as Filatov? Nash is only 24 and you still have the likes of Umberger, Huseluis and Williams on your roster.

If it came down to finding a player to send to San Jose with a prospect/pick I would have to throw Kristian Huselius name out there. He is only 30 years of age and had a decent season (21 goals and 35 assists). He is signed until 2011-2012 at a reasonable price of 4.25 mill a year. Build a package similar to the Jokinen deal at the deadline. Take Huseluis, a prospect like Picard or Mayorov and a conditional pick that dependant on Marleau signing an extension and that should be enough to pry Marleau out of San Jose.  Calgary traded Lombradi, Prust and a Conditional 1st in exchange for Jokinen. Even though that trade with Calgary and Phoenix can be considered to be somewhat of a salary dump, Columbus would be giving up what I deem to be more talent for Marleau.

Columbus will explore all available options this off season and I believe Marleau will be one of them. One can only continue to dream of a top line that consists of Filatov – Marleau – Nash and hey what ever happen to Stephen Heinze?



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4 Comments

  1. Laurie Serif

    June 6, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Marleau would be a good trade, but his salary could butt against Nash’s. Huselius being traded could offset it, but I believe we are in good position to hit the FA market , make a few salary reductions and sign a back up goaltender. I believe a long term front end loaded contract for 5 years could get interest from Bouwmeester. I would front end it to not contend with Nash’s upcoming salary increase. Based on production I would also look at Cammaleri as a UFA center OR consider Antropov for a lower salary.This would elimiate Malhotra and Peca as re-signs. A more cost conscious move may be to sign Malhotra, but not upgrade our center position, hoping Vermette and Brassard will do and Malhotra anchors the third line. Picking up a veteran backup tender could also be done for less than 800,000. This would require a trade of Modin for a pick or 2 and possibly trading Klesla or Chimera. This could be done for 48-50 mill for 09-10 and allows us to keep our present youngsters and add to the stable. I also think this approach would insure Nash re-signing as we would be showing the improvements he deserves.

    Lines: Nash/Cammaleri(Antropov)/Huselius
    Umberger/Brassard/Voracek
    Chimera/Vermette/Filatov
    Boll/A Murray/Dorsett

    Bouwmeester/Hejda
    Tyutin/Commodore
    Russell/Methot(OKT)

  2. Paul

    June 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Okay, let’s get real, here. All this speculation is fun, but does anybody really think that the Jackets are going to add salary when they are a self-admitted budget team and Nash is about to enter the final year of his contract? Forget Marleau, Spezza, Bouwmeester and all the top players. Even those who are available are out of the Jackets’ price range. I look for deals/free agent signings involving players Like Vermette, Jason Williams, etc. Not huge names, but productive and fitting into both the Jackets’ budget and Hitch’s playing style. Besides which, now that the Jackets actually have a productive farm system which is going to provide quality players, it simply doesn’t make sense to start trading off those prospects, especially when, after the first couple of “tiers”, there are still plenty of question marks.

  3. Devon Kunkel

    June 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I could see our defense core staying in tact, minus Backman and his 2 million plus contract. With regards to Bouwmeester, probability dreaming on the front. However when it comes to Marleau I do believe there is a possibility. If you take Modin’s salary off the books at 3.5 mill and include Huseluis in the trade for Marleau you have just shed over 7 million in salary. Marleau makes only makes 6.5 million.

  4. Rob M

    June 11, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Landing a big-ticket center via trade or free agency is not in the Blue Jackets’ plans. They see Brassard as a top-two center now and five years down the road, and do not see any reason to bump him down the depth chart. Marleau also owns a no-trade clause and can veto any deal presented to him.

    The Blue Jackets cannot afford to offer long-term contracts to free agents, so cross Bouwmeester and Cammalleri off right now. Bouwmeester just signed a one-year deal in Florida, and Cammalleri spent one year in Calgary before likely moving on. These guys are going to want security, and that means term. Columbus did that last summer, and they are unlikely to do it again.

    They will be limited to quiet players in free agency and focus a lot of their efforts on the trade market. Going off what Laurie said, they will acquire a backup, but it’s not going to happen for less than $800,000. Many of the “backup” quality goalies set to hit the market have filled in well this season and posted exceptional numbers (Clemmensen, Nittymaki, Anderson, MacDonald) in 2008-09. A solid guy who can play 20-30 games will cost at least $1 million, maybe more.

    Laurie–Antropov is a guy to look at, but he would mostly play wing since center is neither his strong suit nor natural position.

    The Jokinen deal is in no way a precedent for a Marleau package. Jokinen was not in Phoenix’s plans at the deadline and was sorely ineffective, and the baggage he brings doesn’t help either. The Sharks are looking to cut salary, not add it. A high pick and a solid winger is a package they might like, but unfortunately, the Blue Jackets are stuck with Kristian Huselius’ contract. No one is taking that on. Chimera is a definite possibility, and I would say it is highly likely he is traded.

    And $6.5 million is a lot to cash to add when you have Nash, Brassard, Mason, Vermette and Voracek who will need new contracts in the near future. San Jose’s asking price of a high pick is a lot to give for a budget team that will only be able to keep him around for this season, the last on his contract.

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