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With the Blue Jackets trade watch in high gear, a firestorm erupted when Aaron Portzline reported that Rick Nash, Jeff Carter, Fedor Tyutin, and Derek Dorsett were all absent from practice. Imagine the anti-climactic relief when it was revealed that three were absent for maintenance days, while Tyutin was at the hospital for the birth of his second daughter. Добро пожаловать, Нина Федорова Тютин.
Meanwhile, it appears the NBA could be headed back to Seattle, and the NHL is part of the package for the group looking to build a new downtown arena. In fact, one potential investor is willing to put up $300 million dollars of the required costs if they can secure teams before construction starts. Both leagues currently have "house owned" franchises in the New Orleans Hornets and Phoenix Coyotes - it's not hard to imagine a possible deal being worked out that sees both teams relocate to the Emerald City.
Elsewhere in the NHL, the trade wire began to heat up, but Columbus was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the Dallas Stars moved Nicklas Grossman over to the Flyers, while Tampa Bay sent Dominic Moore to San Jose 20 minutes before the two teams were set to play last night, and Tampa GM Steve Yzerman informed Pavel Kubina that he will be held out of games to protect him while the club works to trade the veteran d-man.
Of course, we have to discuss the elephant in the rumors, and that's the continued discussions over trading Nash. Even as the Dispatch's Bob Hunter writes about why trading him is too risky, he also writes up Vinny Prospal as the next possible captain.
At Backhand Shelf, they ask if Scott Howson should be allowed to trade Nash, given his role in building the Jackets up to this season, though they are notably not talking about Craig Patrick, who seems likely to have a large role in this process, and DBJ simply wonders which version of Howson we're dealing with.
Martini Hockey thinks the team can succeed with Nash, but that the captain needs an attitude adjustment.
The Dispatch also talked to Allen York about his road weary travels, and John Moore was the latest Jacket to suffer a minor heart attack from Scott Howson wanting to talk to him - good thing it turned out to be talking about Al Iafrate giving Moore shooting lessons. (Well, good for Moore. Bad for anyone standing in front of his shot.)
In more practical matters, DBJ was quite impressed by how Todd Richards runs his practices, CTF really likes what they see ahead for Derick Brassard, Alex Ovechkin's Rock Star perception cuts both ways, Linsanity may end up helping out hockey in New York, Bruce Boudreau appears on the verge of bringing the Ducks back into the playoffs, and Backhand Shelf argues that if the dead puck era is coming back, then it's on offensive players to find new ways to score. Of course, that question was asked the night before we had 11 goals in the Sharks/Lightning game, and 9 goals in the Flyers / Sabres matchup. Challenge accepted?