Twitter and Puck Rakers have been buzzing today with speculation that the Blue Jackets and Capitals are closing in on a deal. There is also a rumor of a third team being involved. Here's what we know so far:
From Aaron Portzline at the Dispatch:
The Capitals are believed to be scratching D Karl Alzner tonight when they host Carolina, but it seems highly unlikely the Caps would part with Alzner unless it's a blockbuster trade. He's one of the top prospects in all of hockey.
It would likely take Blue Jackets' top prospect Nikita Filatov (and a pick) or two-plus veterans (and maybe a pick) to get that deal done.
The Blue Jackets are willing to part with a forward to get a defenseman, however. Would that be Jason Chimera? Or Raffi Torres? They would appear to be leading candidates, and the likely return would be Milan Jurcina or Shaone Morrisonn.
Interesting stuff from AP. I think it's easy to see that the Caps are interested in Filatov. Most, if not every team would likely be interested in him, but think about the Caps team as it stands right now- they possess three of the best young Russians in the NHL, including arguably the best player in the world in Alexander Ovechkin. The other two players are of course Alexander Semin and Semyon Varlamov. The Caps likely think that he won't be a flight risk because he would be happy being surrounded by fellow Russians, and he would flourish in the run-and-gun system the Caps utilize.
This is of course if we are taking about Karl Alzner in return. AP also mentions that a smaller deal could be in the works, perhaps involving a forward for a defenseman. He mentions Milan Jurcina and Shaone Morrisonn. Personally, I like Morrisonn. He's played cover for Mike Green in Washington, and would look great doing the same for a guy like Stralman, or Russell. He could also kill penalties. Jurcina is a big body, and plays a physical style. I used to watch him play here when he was a junior player with the Mooseheads.
EDIT: From Bob MacKenzie's twitter:
Washington has traded Milan Jurcina to Columbus. Details to follow.
Looks like it's Jurcina. Now we just need to wait to see what we are giving the Caps. It had better not be Filatov, unless there are other players involved. Jurcina will be good for us, but other than his size, he seems like a redundant player with guys like Commodore, Hejda and Methot on the team. Unless of course one of those guys is going back to Washington. But wouldn't that then be a lateral move? I'll be back for more analysis when we here more.