Alexander Radulov could be close to returning to the Nashville Predators, ex-Ranger Sean Avery claims he’s retiring, the Blackhawks could re-sign Ray Emery, and the Columbus Blue Jackets might consider shopping their first round pick.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile is “cautiously optimistic” over the potential return of Alexander Radulov to the club after a nearly four year absence. Radulov won’t have to clear waivers if he decides to return this season, but Poile said that decision is up to the Russian forward. Cooper also reports some NHL GMs are “uneasy” with the agreement between the NHL and NHLPA to exempt Radulov from waivers, but NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said it wouldn’t make sense to punish a team because a player under contract went AWOL and now might wish to return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those GMs grumbling over this wouldn’t say a word if Radulov were their player. It is a unique situation, one which likely won’t be repeated under the next CBA. I’ve given the NHL plenty of grief over the years for their stunning lack of foresight regarding this CBA, but I’m giving them a pass in this situation. When this CBA was implemented, the KHL didn’t exist, so there was no possibility of a player breaking a contract for a better offer elsewhere. That, of course, changed with the rise of the KHL in 2008. Some have compared this to Alexei Yashin with the Senators in 1999, when he skipped a season over a contract dispute. Yashin, however, was trying to force the Senators into renegotiating his contract, not because he got a better offer overseas as Radulov did. 

Avery kissing hockey goodbye.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports former Ranger Sean Avery confirmed his recent comments made on Bravo TV that he was in fact intending to retire at season’s end, moving on to a career in the advertising industry.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Few fans have much love for Avery, but say what you will,  his controversial style and comments often generated lots of headlines.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance recently reported Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman isn’t ruling out re-signing backup goalie Ray Emery, who’s eligible for UFA status at season’s end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Emery might never become a quality starter again, but he’s definitely been a capable, reliable backup for the Blackhawks this season. 

LA PRESSE: Marc-Antoine Godin recently tweeted  “NHL execs from three different teams told me #CBJare expected to trade their 1st round pick (likely 1st overall) at upcoming draft”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That shouldn’t be considered unusual. The Blue Jackets are now considering all options to rebuild their club, including the possibility of trading Rick Nash. If that pick could fetch a quality return, why not move it? That being said, I don’t believe the Jackets would just move it for the sake of doing so. They’ll want a good, young player in return at the very least, and if that’s not to be found, they could retain the pick.

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32 Responses to NHL Rumors – Wednesday, March 14, 2012.

  1. jed says:

    Hi Spec. Got hit with a threat when I loaded this page. It’s called mor.exe

  2. Poe969 says:

    I think the hawks have to solve their golie situation. I can’t see them being a contender with the tandem they have. Emery is good but he isn’t good enough, he might bounce back but I think they should persue a legit starter this summer.

    If the Flames don’t make the playoffs I think they should do a rebuild, Kipper’s NTC expires this summer and I could see a few teams going after him if he’s shopped.

  3. jed: I’ve already informed my advertisers.

  4. SmielmaN says:

    Hmm. Columbus want to be good now…
    Plekanec, Weber, Bourque, Galehager ( I brutalized that one lol), 2nd Rdr, next years first, and second for Cbj first, 2nd, and Nash.

    Lol. I’m laughing just looking at that but there hasn’t been much chatter on the boards the last week so let’s get some hate on!
    OR…
    Submit your crazy homer team trades that you would make?

  5. Casey says:

    Jokes aside, I would love to see the Habs be able to nab that pick…. and what do we think Pleks alone would be worth on the trade market. Not desperate to trade him, but he may be an asset we have that could fetch a good return. Also, would there be much of a market for Gionta?

  6. SmielmaN says:

    Ok ok. Nash may not want to play in MTL. So, take out the first and second from next year and galghrrrrrr. Add either R. Johansen OR C. Atkinson.

    Boom! Flame on!

  7. Eddie is the greatest says:

    Emery is great considering he was told he might never play hockey again because of the type of surgery he had ends careers.

    If he’s not re-sign by the Hawks , If I was Burke I would consider him for sure. Cheap, exp, and can be a game changer. I would even gamble on Mason if I could get him for nothing.

    I’m a Hawks fan so I hope we keep him and give Crawford more time to develop.

    Kipper would be a huge pick up but he’s at the back side end of his career, and the Flames don’t really have a true number 1 goalie in waiting.

    I think Radulov coming back could be huge, as long as he doesn’t come with any baggage and ‘I’m too good to buy into the system attitude’ that is working extremely well for the preds.

  8. alforducks says:

    Howsom is Nuts
    Last summer he trades his #1 for Carter and signs Wiz to expensive contract, want to win NOW.
    Then he trades Carter for Johnson and #1 LA pick, wants to rebuild, opps forgot, signs a old Prospal instead of getting a draft pick. Wants to trade Nash, yep starting over, opps wait now I want to trade the #1 pick for ??? Next week it will be a different story, at least with Bob Murray running the Ducks we have a direction, I’ll trade my non performing AHLer for your non performing AHLer

  9. Canadian King says:

    Ok I’ll put in a pitch for the Kings on the 1st overall pick.

    To LA: 1st overall pick (Yakupov)

    To Clb: Bernier

    Its a win win trade, LA gets their LW they have being trying to land for years at a good price, and the BJ’s get a young starting goalie that is ready to lead his team now.

    If your the Kings you can put him on the third line next year with fellow Russian and pure playmaker Loktionov and some grit and toughness like Clifford, Nolan or King. Then after next season he can replace Gagne in a top six role.

    If your Columbus you get one of the best young goalies in the league that can lead you now, without waiting for him to develop.

    As a Kings fan I would hate to lose Bernier but there is no sense having him and Quick when the Kings have other holes to fill. Plus Nabokov has said that he would like to return to California for family reasons, so maybe the Kings can lure him for there back up. It could be his way of sticking it to SJ as well.

  10. THewes says:

    Given Columbus’ drafting record (Nash & Johansen notwithstanding), I don’t blame them for shopping that pick for more established assets. Dealing Nash and their 1st rounder in separate deals could really jump start the Blue Jackets’ rebuild. I don’t, however, see Nash playing in Montreal (or Toronto really) as I would imagine he wants to be part of a contending team.

  11. Chris says:

    Howson must drinking the same water Brian Burke is ..thats for sure!!!

    CBJ has lost out LARGE everytime they pick a Russian in the draft ….so they should just pick a player that might fit better into there rebuild and a player that wont take off to Russia like Radulov at a whim……

    This might be a smart move on Howson to do this as long as he gets exactly what he is looking for ….If he trades Nash and this first pick he could rebuild almost instantly and be competitive at the begining of next season ……especially if he addresses some size and a goalie…..it must be nice to have assest to move and rebuild almost right away !!!!

    Wish Leafs had assets like that ………Ive been posting on this site for almost a year now and still claim the best thing the Leafs can do is trade Kessel for some good !a prospects and a Goalie to move forward ……I would say Dion is not a Captain on the Ice and he should be moved as well …..Brian Burke really needs to move out some money and bring in a guy like Shea Weber to address his horendous DEFENSE ….also as I stated Luke Schenn has dropped off the planet as a hockey player …I said this at the trade deadline here if they did not move him and he played bad the rest of the season his stock would fall dramaticaly …….and so I will have to say ……told you so …..Scxhenn will not command a 1st round pick anymore …youd be lucky to even finmd a trade partner at this point ….hes got hands of stone and his feet are stuck in quick sand Leafs are in serious trouble next year …….especially as each other team in there confrence will get better in the offseason ……especially Florida ……WOW….. Dave Talopn has doen an amazing job he has a stack of prospects to choose from as well next year……..The Leafs may finish last this year and next year if all the other teams are prgressing as they are !!!

    I think there are some teams out there that are willing to do massive trades because of the new CBA and they dont have good assets in the farm team and would be there only way to improve in the short turn…..

    I also posted that I thgink its time for Calgary to trade Kipper at his peak ….Goalies are in HIGH demand and none more than him …Clgary as well could do a very good rebuild right away with the stack of assets and players they can get for Kipper and at the same time keep Iginila in the mix to be a mentor and retire a Flame!!!

    I think the Flyers are the best trade partner with Calgary as they are looking for that TOP ELITE Goalie and have youth that could be a target for Clagary to bring in such as Brayden Schenn to be the next franchise player !!!

    A good trade for BOTH teams needs and workls in the cap would be ……

    To Flyers
    Mkka Kiprusoff
    Jay Boumeester

    To Clagary
    Brayden Schenn
    Sergei Borbovski
    Andre Mezzzaros
    Matt Read

    Flyers are looking for a puck moving extablished defense man and goalie …..

    Calgary are looking for youth and a tough defenseman along with a good prospect!

  12. can1jim says:

    Chris, Philly has Bryzgalov, he has 4 shutouts in his last 6 games and 3 straight, it took him awhile to adapt, but seeing how he is on the books for 9 years there is no way the flyers would have any interest in Kipper. Bryz is a classic example of a goalie who needed to find himself before he could find his game. It was a huge change going from Phoenix to Philly, but he found it and with authority!

  13. 36crazyfists says:

    @ Canadian King
    I think CBJ would require more for parting with a potential franchise player. Bernier is a solid return but if I;m Howson, I need more than that. I’d say that’s fairly close though.

    How about:
    To Clb:
    Toffoli, Bernier
    to LA:
    CLB 1st round pick

    @Chris
    Yes you’ve been saying for months that the Leafs should move Kessel…well just because you keep saying it, doesn’t make it right. The Leafs are missing a couple pieces, trading Kessel will only be a sideways move.
    Why are the Flyers looking for a top flight goalie when they already have one signed for the next 8 years> Bryz baby is the hottest goalie in the league right now so why would the Flyers tie up that much cap space in just goaltending? Sure you went on capgeek and the money works, but realistically this move will never happen. I can’t see the Flyers parting with Schenn or Matt Read for that matter. Read is having a solid rookie season and I’m sure the Flyers want to see exactly what type of player they might have. Jay Bouwmeester doesn’t hold as much value as he once did and comes with a nearly 7 million contract.

  14. 36crazyfists says:

    @ Can1jim
    Bryz was just lost in the universe for a while, but I think he’s back on earth!

  15. Micki says:

    The Blue Jackets have a terrible drafting record, so i would trade their 1st overall, if they get it, for proven talent.

    This is a franchise that did not fire a GM that utterly failed in all departments of what constitutes a solid hockey team in this league. No goaltender. Weak defense. Weak offense. Lack of quality forward depth. Poor farm system. Poor coaching choices. Poor prospect pool depth chart. Poor trades. Poor UFA signings.

    According to reports they had a great offer for Rick Nash and i am not sure if Howson had the final word. The guy is never shy in pulling a big trade. Enter Craig Patrick and he deals with Sather the same way he did when he was trading Jagr. Sather offered young NHL players at the time. Patrick wanted more. Slats said no. So Patrick put his idiotic big ego ahead of the organization and traded Jagr for a bunch of players that did not have NHL careers.

    Go figure, Columbus acted the same way with the Rangers this time. Coincidence? I think not.

    I won’t give the majority of criticism and blame on Scott Howson and Craig Patrick, though. The ownership deserves the majority of both as they are incapable of spotting failure where it evidently shows and hiring two inept people to run the team.

  16. THewes says:

    @ Chris – So the Flyers would have Bryz locked up for another 8 seasons at an exorbitant cap hit, and add Kiprusoff and his nearly $6M hit for the next 2 seasons? Not to mention taking away some younger contributing players (one of them projected to be a future captain) and adding another big ticket defenseman who has never lived up to his potential? I fail to see how this is a good trade for BOTH teams as it completely hamstrings the Flyers for the next few years, in which they have some key young players to re-sign (like Giroux).

  17. alforducks says:

    Columbus should not touch a unproven goalie. Is the problem there the goalie or the terrible defense in front of him ? Frankly if Howsom is afraid of having the first pick, then try and trade down. If he can end up with 3 first round picks at the lower half of the first round, then he has 3 plus the one from LA.
    Use two for the future and trade 2 now for players that will help them now. Trading #1 pick in draft for unproven goalie with that defense in front of him spells DISASTER in the making.

  18. Diceman says:

    Well I wanted to reply to the ridiculous trade proposal of Kipper going to Philly, but looks like everyone else already took care of that so I’ll move on.

    I’d like to see the Hawks bring back Emery as a backup. Crawford has obviously struggled, but he is still a number 1 goalie IMO. He doesn’t need more time to develop as did that in the minors for like 5 years I believe. The issues with him are the same that face all goalies outside of the elite; consistency and mental toughness. If he can get one over that psychological bump, I think he has the raw ability to be a good starter for many years. Certainly as good if not better than Niemi was in 2010, which is really all you need if the team plays well in front of you.

  19. 36crazyfists says:

    @ Thewes
    it”s a good trade because the money works :) lol

  20. JJB says:

    It is easier to just ignore Chris then read any of his rants, that never make sense or are lacking in any kind of hockey sense … for example the posted trade. What people also forget outside of how good Bryz is … both of these guys have been starters and Vezina candidates, they have been the main parts of their teams and are making tons of money, why would they want to be a back up?

    Why would Philly give up two of the brightest young forwards in the league, a solid defenseman, and a future star goalie for a goalie they don’t need and a defenseman that can be found elsewhere. That entire deal didn’t make sense and most of the previous rant before it.

    Back to reality here. Should the Jackets really move their first? Right now unless they lose the lottery it is likely to be Yakupov, the Jackets need scoring and if they want to move Nash they need another big name to build around. Also how many teams are looking for scoring forwards that have the assets to give up to get in a bidding war for him? I am not sure that the Jackets could get the return they are looking for. If anything I see it more likely that if they were to move the pick it would be to drop down in the draft, so a team with the 4th-8th OA pick trading the pick + asset to the Jackets for the 1st OA.

    When it comes to the Jackets their players aren’t so much the problem. Management could right this ship by 1st firing Howsen and the coaching staff and replacing them all. The seek via UFA or trade a veteran goalie that can mentor Mason back to his rookie days, cause he can be a #1, we have SEEN his talent. Alas, I think the drama with Nash means he is going to be out, but you move him gain valuable assets in return and start from there.

    I think you then draft Yakupov (because you can’t judge all Russians based off of one persons actions). To assist with the scoring and the teams identity. Wiz, Johnson, Moore, Nikitin, Methot, Tyutin is a solid defensive core! Maybe you add one more defenseman, so you move Nash looking for a Top Center, depth winger, 3rd or 4th defenseman, maybe some other parts. You add Yakupov at the draft and you are fine … OR if you are solid with your offense you trade the pick to go down a few and add another piece that is fine also. But the Jackets need new management and coaching above anything else.

    Emery if not signed by the Hawks will be playing in the NHL and I’ll be he’ll get a starter audition as many teams could take a look at him. Jackets, Leafs, Lightning, Islanders are just a few who might give him a look. Anyway thats all for today.

  21. THewes says:

    If the Columbus ownership had any management acumen at all, they would take the decision out of Howson’s hands and turf him altogether. As Micki said earlier, this GM has been an unmitigated disaster since day one.

    I would also suggest a complete house cleaning in the front office and coaching staff. Start over with some proven veterans with younger capologists as assistants (or hire one of Brian Burke’s seven assistant GM’s – Rick Dudley, hello?), then hire a guy like Dallas Eakins who can develop and inspire younger players and give him competent assistants. The rift between Nash and the Blue Jackets is irreversible at this point and he can be moved in the summer for some high quality assets.

  22. Chris says:

    WHATEVER !!!!!
    @ JJB …..Dice man ….Thewes…..all you guys are door knobs…….If I had posted last year that Philly was going to trade Mike Richards somewhere and Jeff Carter somewhere at tthe same time all you guys would be calling me the same thing ….RIGHT…….WELL THAT HAPPENED ….jerks!!!!!!

    First off Bryzgalaf was being shopped from mid season on and so was Brobovski ….you simple minded simpletons ….so that means that Holmgren was and is looking for another goalie….Bryzgalaf embarresd the Philly organization with remarks he made when he was dumped (not starting) to play in the Outdoor game and this has not sat well with ownership and Holmgren so dont be surprised if both goalies are not there in October and a new one is ………….so in saying that I posted my thoughts on Lyles comments about Kipper and who would be bold enough to make a serious move and who wanted a REAL #1 Goalie not Bryzgalaf ….Kipper is arguably the worlds best Goalie so why wouldnt ant team INCLUDING the Flyers not be interested ….they were in on Nash so that means they are willing to give up some serious peices to make moves …JERKS!!!!

    So in theory it made sense that the Flyers are always willing to move BIG when they want something worth while no matter the cost and it fits the requiremenst of both teams and makes perfect sens.

    Just so the next time you dont forget how stupid Iam copy and paste this e mail to you desktop as well as the one below so you can read it in the future when Iam proven right !!!!!!

    QUOTE TO COPY : Bryzgalaf might be doing well right now but he has been very choppy this whole season and lacks confidence after loosing a couple of games ………so my prediction is he will tank like hes done every year come the heat of the playoffs and this will be his demise and will be dealt in the off season …Philly does not want this guy for another year let alone 7 more!!!!

    To finish off I will help out JJB because if I know nothing about hockey than you my friend are talking about another sport because your rant on the Emery and Mason situation is so far off the mark its not funny !!!!!

    Emery is NOT a starter for any team in the NHL he may play 20 25 games at max in a supporting role FINAL

    Mason is young but has tapped out his potential and growth and will never be a legit #1 Goalie for any team for the rest of his Career outside of Columbus ….thats why a 33 year old minor league goalie is now there number one goalie ……..wow !!!! …. and Iam stupid he says ……

    Lastly to your comment ….if the CBJ are going to trade Nash …….then they should really consider the best North American in the draft …so they can have a guy who will play for them and be a marketable Franchise type playerin the USA …becuase they wont get that in the Russian picks thats for sure !!!!!

    Colton Sissons ( Center ) or Morgan Riely ( Defense) would be there best draft options …….

    Even the Czek Rdak Faksa at 6 foot 3 would be a better pick to add serious size and NHL ready in October !

    Remeber to copy & paste !!!

  23. THewes says:

    @ Chris – I’ll quote this:
    “So in theory it made sense that the Flyers are always willing to move BIG when they want something worth while no matter the cost and it fits the requiremenst of both teams and makes perfect sens.”

    True, the Flyers are generally willing to make a big, bold move if the return value can be justified. In this case, the trade fills Calgary’s most pressing need of clearing dead cap space, but Philly gets absolutely fleeced of young, NHL quality talent that they worked hard to acquire. I can’t see Holmgren having any interest in Bouwmeester when it could potentially handcuff the team in future negotiations with a rising superstar in Claude Giroux. Philly will continue to acquire and develop younger talent in the near future instead of being hamstrung with more albatross contracts like those of Kipper and Bouwmeester.

    In the future, if you don’t want your trade “proposals” to get torn apart, give them a little more thought and contextual significance rather than just playing on Capgeek’s trade machine.

  24. Chris says:

    @Thewes

    Actaully the trade is within $300,000 difference in tradeable cap space for a three year term for Philly ….and the trade was thought out for both teams needs ……..it was just a scenario to what both teams are looking for ……..like I said the Flyers were 1 of 3 teams that were seriously in on Nash …..and that would have cost them a pretty penny and young talent so they would pull the trigger and deal for the best goalie in the League with no hesititaion if presented to Holmgren ….

    Deal with the Giroux situation at the time it needs to be addressed …plus Proger will never play again and will relieve the cap hit for the Flyers to sign Giroux to a multi year long term deal NO PROBLEM!!!!

  25. Diceman says:

    @Chris you’re right that the Flyers were looking for a goalie around the trade deadline, but that doesn’t mean they were trying to get rid of Bryz. Maybe they were looking for a starter for the remainder of this season and that’s it? Who knows? Yes, Bryz has been disappointing outside of his recent stretch. But remember, they JUST gave him a massive contract and committed to him for 9 years, so it would be pretty shortsighted to give up on the guy this soon. Just because the Flyers make big moves doesn’t mean anything goes.

    Also, as a Blackhawks fan who watches every game, I very much disagree with your assessment of Emery. I’m not gonna say that he is definitely a number 1, but on certain teams he is certainly capable of at least being given the chance. And he did show the same thing last year with the Ducks so I think it’s a little unfair to declare him a backup automatically.

    Same thing with Mason. He’s looked awful. but how are you in a position to declare his career over?? If he is put in a positive situation with a team that doesn’t have a dark cloud over their heads, and gets a fresh start, he could revive his career. He was drafted so high for a reason, he obviously has the raw talent but hasn’t put it together yet. Kari Lehtonen comes to mind as someone who’s taken a very long time to get his game together, but it appears that he finally has. I’m not as optimistic about Mason, but it’s still very early in his career.

    Moving on, I don’t think Columbus trades their pick but just a hunch. Nearly every year there’s talk of the team with the 1st pick trading it but the same thing almost always happens; they entertain offers but nothing compares to the possibility of drafting a franchise superstar. The fact that he’s russian really doesn’t matter IMO. Washington and Pittsburgh would have been crazy to pass over Ovechkin and Malkin.

  26. Icebear says:

    @ Chris actually The only way progners salary is “off the books” is if he stays on ltir for the rest of his contract, but even then it still counts towards the cap in the summer. Due to his age when he signed the Long term contact it would still count towards their cap if he retires. I could be wrong on this (at work on my phone so I can’t look it up) but I’m quite sure I’m right.

  27. Chris says:

    I like Emery and being a former Junior goalie myself iam very much up on every goalie in the league and watch a lot of hockey on Center Ice …hes been good …but he has a role and unfortunately almost the whole league passed him over for even a back up the last three years so I don t see him as a starter anywhere but like I said he would be a very good back up at 20 games plus ……

    I didnt not say Masons career was over I just dont see him being a #1 unless hes put into a system where as the coach is defense is the best offense …who knows ….I just dont see any team willing to give up on there present # 1 goalie to bring in Mason and his woes …unfortunately hes deemed a back up until he gets a kick at tyhe can due to a starter injury to try and prove himself as a #1 goalie again …but I really feel it may be too late.

    I dont see how Columbus can take another Russian in this draft ….I really feel it would be suicide for the franchise and the fan base ….there is a term or saying that goes like this ………..

    Screw me once shame on you
    Screw me twice shame on me
    Screw me a third time …Iam just an idiot ….

    Lets say they draft a Russian doesnt liek his entry level contract after the 2nd year and YEP pulls a Radulov or a Yashin ….or simply isnt the guy everyone thought he was in Junior which seem sto be the way of the dingo ….Filatov Zheredev …Semin ….its a long list …would not want to make that mistake a third time !

    Regards

  28. Diceman says:

    @Chris I get your point about Yakupov, I just don’t think it’s fair. There are non-russian players who have pulled the same crap. And while I would also want to avoid the type of guys you cited, there are other examples (Datsyuk, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Ovechkin) who have proved their desire to play the game beyond making money. If Columbus does their homework and sees that Yakupov wants to be the man to turn the franchise around, wants to play in Columbus, etc., then you don’t pass him up just because he’s russian. Each guy should be judged on their individual character, not their country of origin.

    Agreed that no one is going to bring Mason in to be a no. 1. But someone may bring him in to be a no. 2, or even a minor leaguer for a while until he rediscovers his game, if he does

    As for Emery, part of the reason teams passed him up was because of his major injury (hip surgery I believe). People didn’t know if he would ever play hockey again so I understand the hesitation by a lot of GM’s. Ultimately I think it will come down to weather or not he’s the guy come playoffs. I’m not convinced he will be, but if he is and has some success, he’ll be a sought after potential no. 1 this summer if not resigned.

  29. Chris says:

    A couple years back just before Ovechkin broke out, I remember having a huge hockey arguement with my buddies in the weeeeee hours of the morning ….more like the crack of dawn LOL …..and I was stating much as I do on this site ….you have to watch out for this Ovechkin kid ..he could be the guy to break many of Gretzkys records and could push for the all time goals record …..they thought I was crazy to even insinuate that ….well didnt Ovechkin go on a streak for the next 4 years aand score crazy goals and everyone was like wow this could be the guy as Iam sure we all now see hes a great hockey player …but theres just something not right anymore …..I mean id take a guy like Mark Recchi or Brad Marchand over Ovechkin on my dream team any day of the week …..they just get it done …score the big goals and never fade away in a game or series!

    there are some GREAT Russian players and Id take Sergei Fedorov on my dream team if I had a choice to pick a team and put it on the Ice for one game……. winner takes all …….but I really dont see how CBJ can risk it all over again ……if they trade Nash …..and bring in a Russian player and build him up to there fan base …..and he screws off in a year or two ……or simply does not pan out ……..the fallout on a Russian player could cost them the Franchise to the fanship as opposed to taking a North American player and failing …..its wierd but it could be that much of a razors edge to the fan base and the longevity of the franchise considering they are in yet another rebuild loose ther beloved son Nash and have only made the playoffs once …..a failing Russian in Columbus could be a recipe for extinction of the CBJ ……IMO !

  30. Diceman says:

    To me, it’s a bigger risk to pass him up BECAUSE he’s russian. What if he ends up being the next Malkin and they’re left with an average player, or a guy who doesn’t pan out. Do you think the fans will care that the guy they got isn’t russian if he’s no good?

    Bottom line, you take the best player available. Something I believe every GM would agree with; unless that is, you have a real reason to doubt someones character or desire to play in this continent, for your team.

  31. claysbar says:

    Might have missed it in one of the posts, but Bryzgalov have a full no movement clause. The only teams that probably have the room or the guts to take on 8 more years of a goaltender are on the wrong side of winning and probably will be for a few years, so I doubt he would waive it.

  32. GSavy says:

    Columbus may be interested in Canucks Schneider for their first rounder. Would be a good move for Gillis to get a quality prospect for Schneider. May not happen as there is pressure in Van to get a proven return for Schneider, but a most likely first overall pick may be attractive.

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