The Draft is over, and we have a few changes to the Blue Jackets‘ prospect pool, but the big questions are still very much unanswered.
Aaron Portzline goes into the offers not being right, expanding on his thoughts from the draft floor earlier in the day, but Michael Arace just wants the wait to be over. I think right now the onus actually isn’t on Scott Howson. He’s doing exactly what fans (and ownership) have demanded: If you will move Nash, get the best possible value. If Nash is getting frustrated about not being moved, then Nash should tell Howson that the much debated “list” is off the table, and expand Howson’s flexibility. I have a feeling a trade would speed up considerably at that point.
The other bit of news from Nationwide that caused some fan freakouts was the release of four scouts yesterday. Despite the “EHRMAHGERD, WE FIRED THE GUYS WHO JUST DID THIS DRAFT”, we need to back up a moment. 1) In NHL circles, most scouts have contracts that run through the end of each year’s draft. The club decided they would not be renewing them, so they let them go at that point.
2) Most of these scouts have been working for the organization since the Doug MacLean days. You cannot ask for the team to clear out the last vestiges of old blood and get new voices into the organization and then complain about when they do so.
3) While John Williams did have a big voice in drafting Ryan Murray, it’s pretty clear that most scouts would have made the same call on the newly acquired D-man. This pick was about as close to a no-brainer as you can get.
4) IF, and this is a big IF, the organization does eventually release Scott Howson and go in a new direction at GM, we’d probably be seeing new scouts coming in anyhow. I wouldn’t be shocked if the replacements for these men have familiarity with Craig Patrick. Just saying.
Now back to our show.
Calgary made one of the biggest reaches of the first round, but Dan at Backhand Shelf believes them when they say they got the player they wanted.
Meanwhile, in Anaheim, Bobby Ryan is also in the “disgrunted high performance winger” club, while Brian Burke surprised a few people by trading Luke Schenn for James van Riemsdyk after the close of the draft, a move which may heavily shape the Nash market.
Over at Jerseys and Hockey Love, Tapeleg really likes the Bob deal, and FWIW the general reaction I heard at the Draft was that Howson may want to add another goalie, but the deal for Bob was a solid move.
Finally, there’s the curious case of Lubomir Visnovsky, who was traded to the Islanders but could potentially go to Russia instead. One of the Islanders beat writers says he intends to report, but I have a feeling that news story caused some big headaches for Garth Snow.
That’s it (for now), but keep an eye out tomorrow when Justin Schultz becomes a free agent – the young d-man might not come to Columbus, but he’s another player who could start some “dominoes” moving in advance of next Sunday…