Latest from the Ottawa Sun, an update on Alexander Radulov, the decisions facing the Blue Jackets this summer, and the deadline deals which have paid off so far this season.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke faces the most important summer of his tenure, as he needs to land a franchise forward and top-flight goaltender. Garrioch suggests targeting Canucks netminder Cory Schneider, and is either going to have to get back into the Rick Nash sweepstakes, or try to find a way to pry Ryan Getzlaf out of Anaheim…Garrioch also wondered if a new GM in Columbus might convince Rick Nash to stay, but Nash is apparently tired of losing…He also suggests possible candidates for Canadiens GM: Marc Bergevin, Julien Brisebois, or Claude Loiselle. For head coach: Patrick Roy or Pascal Vincent…Contract talks haven’t begun yet between Erik Karlsson and the Senators. Starting price could be $5.5 million and possibly go as high as $7 million per season…The NY Rangers apparently weren’t please with how Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson handled trade talks regarding Nash. Some observers would be surprised if the Rangers try to bid for him again…Garrioch expects Alexander Semin to end up in the KHL, as the Capitals won’t re-sign him and there was no interest in him at the trade deadline…Islanders P.A. Parenteau could seek a long-term deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the bad blood between the Leafs and Canucks management, Schneider might be unavailable to the Leafs. Good luck landing Getzlaf, as I doubt the Ducks are ready to give up on him, especially given the lack of quality first line centers in the league… While it’s possible Nash might remain with the Jackets, it appears more likely he’ll get moved this summer if the right return can be had…Remains to be seen what the Habs do with management, but it certainly seems a safe bet they’ll have a new head coach next season…The Rangers might not have liked how trade talks went for Nash, but I could see them revisiting them this summer, especially if they fall short in the playoffs…Semin could end up in the KHL, but never underestimate the ability of an NHL GM to overpay for a free agent…Michael Grabner last season signed a five-year deal with the Isles, so I could see Parenteau getting a four-or-five year contract from them.
YAHOO! SPORTS: “Puck Daddy” columnist/blogger Dmitry Chesnokov provided an update on Alexander Radulov’s status with his KHL team, Salavat Yulaev Ufa. Radulov’s Russian agent claimed KHL contracts don’t expire until April 30th, suggesting it would be up to a mutual agreement between Radulov and the team to allow him to return to Nashville this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen how this situation plays out. The Predators would welcome him back if he does return, and by playing the final month of this season, he’ll have fulfilled the contractual obligation of the final season of his entry level deal with them.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance recently examined the critical choices facing the Blue Jackets this summer, the most obvious being the trade status of team captain Rick Nash. Management hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Nash remaining with the club if they don’t find the right deal this summer. If the club gets the first overall pick this year, it’s imperative this make the right choice with the pick. Despite their recent bad luck with Russian picks Nikolay Zherdev and Nikita Filatov, GM Scott Howson said that wouldn’t prevent him from selecting another Russian player. Nail Yakupov is considered the consensus number one in this year’s draft. The Jackets must also acquire a quality starting goalie and bring in the right head coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of big decisions coming this summer for the Blue Jackets. While they didn’t find the right offer at the trade deadline, the odds should improve this summer, especially near the entry draft weekend. Yakupov may be the consensus for first overall, but he’s already suffered a knee injury this season and was recently sidelined with an apparent concussion in a recent OHL game. The Jackets must get improved goaltending this summer, either as part of the return for Nash, or in a separate deal.
USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen recently looked at the deadline deals which have panned out this season. Among them: Steve Downie and Jamie McGinn to Colorado, and Andrei Kostitsyn to Nashville.