Apparently firing coach Scott Arniel was only the beginning.
Columbus general manager Scott Howson told reporters today to expect more personnel moves in an effort to salvage something from the Blue Jackets’ disastrous season. (Or, at the very least, cut payroll and mitigate what are sure to be significant financial losses for ownership.)
“We anticipate that we will be trading away some of our players,” Howson said.
Though the embattled GM wouldn’t specify, the potential trade candidates are many:
Pending UFA forward Vaclav Prospal has playoff rental written all over him.
Forward Samuel Pahlsson might not be worth his $2.65 million cap hit, but with an expiring contract, the veteran could be a worthwhile addition for a playoff team at the deadline. Remember, cap space isn’t an issue for a lot of contenders.
Forwards RJ Umberger, Antoine Vermette and Derrick Brassard – along with defenseman Marc Methot – are each signed for multiple more years, but neither has a no-trade clause.
Rick Nash has been at the center of trade speculation, though Howson has denied interest in moving his star forward.
Jeff Carter has a no-trade clause; however, that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t waive it to get the hell out of, er, if Columbus wanted to move him.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”