Latest on the Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs and Senators.

An update on Jeff Carter’s status with the Blue Jackets,  the Senators could consider bolstering their lineup via trade, and the Leafs apparently aren’t ready to hit the trade button.

Carter and Blue Jackets deny trade rumors.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson refuted a recent report from RDS claiming Blue Jackets forward Jeff Carter had demanded a trade. Carter’s agent, Rick Curran, also denied his client had made a trade demand. Portzline also reported Carter vehemently denied the RDS report, adding he never spoke to anyone from the network, though he acknowledged he’s not happy with his or his team’s performance, though he’s not the only one on the club feeling that way.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect that to mollify the rumormongers, as we’re probably going to hear about Carter “secretly” wanting out of Columbus in the coming weeks, months and years. To be fair to RDS, Renaud Lavoie subsequently spoke to Howson and Curran soon after his network broke the story of Carter’s supposed trade demand, and posted on their site their subsequent denials. Was there any kernel of truth to this rumor? As with most of these things, it could’ve started because of an innocuous comment from someone in the Carter camp that he wasn’t happy with how things were going this season, and got blown out of proportion. The only thing we know for sure is Howson, Carter and his agent all have issued strong denials, and in the lack of any real facts to the contrary, we’ll have to take them at face value.

SPORTSNET/OTTAWA CITIZEN/OTTAWA SUN:  reported the surprising strong start of the Ottawa Senators could have GM Bryan Murray looking to add a player or two to bolster his team’s playoff chances. Murray will continue to monitor the performance of Stephane Da Costa as their second line center, and he has no deals in the works at this time, noting there’s been little actual trade talk in the first quarter of this season, though it could pick up in the second quarter. The Sun reported sources claiming the Senators had interest in Phoenix Coyotes center Kyle Turris. The Sun also reported teams have little interest in Senators blueliners Filip Kuba and Brian Lee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Senators remain in the playoff chase by late January, Murray will likely go into full “buy” mode, but he won’t move any of his promising young players, looking instead for affordable veteran “rental” players, perhaps a second-line center if Da Costa struggles in the role, for a second or third round pick. He could also offer up Kuba or Lee at that point for a center, provided they can afford to spare them at that point, and if there’s any real interest in either guy by that point. As for Turris, I don’t doubt Murray had interest, but was told by the Coyotes the holdout center wasn’t available, and that’s as far as it went.

TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports Maple Leafs VP of Hockey Operations Dave Poulin said the rash of injuries the team has suffered recently won’t push them into the trade market, not yet anyway. Zeisberger noted a recent rumor had Cody Franson being shipped to the Edmonton Oilers for Linus Omark or Sam Gagner, but scuttled that speculation because Mike Komisarek’s recent injury means Franson won’t be moved.

TORONTO STAR: Rosie DiManno yesterday reported struggling Leafs backup Jonas Gustavsson hasn’t asked to be traded, while GM Brian Burke shot down the notion of including Gustavsson in a deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For all the grief Burke occasionally gets from the armchair GM crowd in Leafs Nation, he deserves kudos for not shipping out Franson, as they’ll surely need him with Komisarek out of the lineup for at least three weeks. As for Gustavsson, if the Leafs tried to shop him, I doubt they’d find any takers, due to his poor performance and his UFA status next summer.


  1. Chech this one out…….
    Carter to caps for holtby johansen and a 1st( caps then flip semin for another piece)
    Wiz and vermette to Florida for markstrom 1st and 3rd
    Nash and 2nd to Philly for schenn, 1st this year and next plus a cap hit victim.
    This course that columbus is on is no good.
    4 first rounders plus you solve your goaltending woes for years to come…. And you add Brayden schenn!!!!!!
    Johansen would be a good pickup as well, and you trade everyone out if conference.

  2. RE: Trade proposals… (from CBJ fan perspective)


    One problem limiting any part of the above fantasy is CAP ROOM. Plenty of $ available for pieces in free agency then…

  3. ^ Wow, someone really overvalues players that haven’t done a damn thing to warrant that kind of return. You MUST be joking…

  4. Must be…….
    But doesn’t everyone under achieve on a crappy team?

  5. Panthers are not going to trade Markstrom, good chance Clemmensen is moved. Maybe this weekend.

  6. One of the things that must suck for the Leafs and Gustavsson is the Leafs would rather put an unqualified AHL goalie in net than let the Monster start a game and until they either acquire another goalie or Reimer comes back, its likely to remain this way. That’s not a good dressing room feeling for anybody

  7. I’m suprised at Ottawa’s start too. But if they make the playoffs I will remove my own leg and kick myself in the testicles. They’re good (I said as much when they aquired Anderson last year and got laughed at) but not THAT good.

  8. I don’t expect the Sens to make the playoffs. I’m a season ticket holder and will be very pissed if Murray goes the ‘buy route’ if the Sens are in a fight for a playoff spot in Feb.

    This team is still re-building.. and IF he gives up valuable draft picks going into a strong draft… I will be extremely upset. Doing that goes against everything the re-build stands for. You want a PROPER re-build… not one that is half way.

    Still be sellers at the deadline — if teams come calling… for more picks… regardless of where the Sens are in the standings. This team needs to make room on the defense for Rundblad FULL TIME. Kuba will not be here next year… and he has been playing fairly well this season. Murray also has to make room in the forward ranks for next season for Silfverberg & Zibanejad…. so I expect something to happen there as well.

    The playoffs will come if you are patient… but trying to rush things is the wrong way to go.

  9. I’d have to respectfully disagree with Spectator on the Burke Franson thing. I think the only reason Burke hasn’t pulled the trigger on Franson is because his value is down due to his limited play and therefore the right offer never came along. With the completely unexpected play of Gardiner I don’t think Burke wanted a guy like Franson sitting in the press box for what could have been the entire season waiting for a possible injury to occur as opposed to having a guy like Aulie playing in the A or another D man that has been playing well who could be called up to fill in.

  10. @ Mb4life
    I’ll skip past the ridiculousness of those trade ideas as I’m sure other will happily show why they won’t work and instead focus on the real problems of the Blue Jackets. The reason they are any good is firstly drafting. As someone pointed out the other day with the exception of Nash all their first round picks (often high first round picks) have been at best underachievers and at worst busts. And secondly a culture of losing and poor-developement. Now it’s not as if those high picks have blossomed outside of Columbus (see FIlatov to Klesla) but their poor performance has happened so often that one has to wonder if Columbus just can’t make good picks or if there’s something about the organization that stunts the growth of young players. Mostly likely a combination of both.

    Either way, and addressing your proposals, adding a fistful of good young players and first-rounders isn’t going to fix either problem. If Howson was somehow to make all those deals the Jackets wouldn’t be any better in three years than they are now, because the players aren’t the problem. I’m not sure how exactly to fix the Blue Jackets but I am sure it has much less to do with the guys wearing the sweaters and much more to do with the guys wearing the suits.

  11. Colboune is going to rip it up tonite. We have stockpiled depth for this reason exactly. Blueline still has a very servicably d man in Aulie and in a normal year a guy like Blacker would get a chance. No trades needed here accept maybe a goalie.

  12. Durt that’s a disturbing image you provided. If by some slim chance Ottawa makes the playoff’s this season and your Leaf’s don’t I’m sure there’s going to be some serious teeth grinding in blue land. My feeling is that the Sen’s simply don’t have the depth to pull it off when the inevitable injuries start to pile up. Hope I’m wrong though.
    Sandy, I usually agree with your Sen’s takes however if Ottawa is contending for a playoff spot they absolutely should look at improving their line-up providing it doesn’t mean sacrificing the future. The team has plenty of cap space to take on a veteran for the short term or, in the unlikely event of one coming available, a quality younger player (ideally a centre). As a small market team in a gov’t town Ottawa simply doesn’t have the luxury of corporate sponsorships & seats to fatten the owners wallet. They have to do it the old fashioned way, sell tickets. By making the playoff’s the team has a chance to break even or make a profit which in the long run is good for Sen’s fans. For these young guys to get the experience of an NHL playoff round would be great for their development even though, as I stated earlier, it’s probably not going to happen this season. You have to admit that games are great attend when a team’s this fun to watch!

  13. Smitty, bang on brother!

  14. i love the insane trade proposals some of you make up that are completey ridiculous, trading chunks of one team for a chunk of another that usualy goes against one teams legitimate future plan and serves only the other team in the long run. Keep it up i feel smarter everday I read these…

  15. The Maple Leafs have just over $1.22 million in cap space clearance so moving Gus, while possible, is not likely going to happen and Burke, has apparently dismissed that notion. That said, getting a reliable backup who’s capable of #1 but content to be #2 is a stretch. No, I think Burke will let this thing ride as long as he possibly can until he’s got a more definitive timeline on the return of Reimer.

  16. Mb4life, why would Florida want Wizneiwsky and Vermette for their goalie of the near future and some high draft picks? And Philly would need to drop a sizable contract in order to fit in Nash, in fact, there isn’t one player currently on their roster that would have a big enough cap hit! They would have to move Hartnell AND Carle (plus fill the extra vacant spot), and the latter has a NTC.