johnson carter

As improbable Kings run continues, Blue Jackets grit their teeth


Interesting observation from Michael Arace of The Columbus Dispatch:

In February, four days before the trade deadline, the Blue Jackets shipped disgruntled sniper Jeff Carter to the Kings for defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first-round draft pick. It was one deal the Jackets managed to get right. Johnson is a horse, looks a lot like the next captain and has been starring for Team USA at the world championships.

The first-round pick was a beefy bonus in the deal. The condition is the rub.

After Los Angeles rallied to make the playoffs, Columbus was in good shape. Once L.A. was eliminated by the top-seeded Canucks, Columbus would’ve (theoretically) received a pick in the mid-to-high teens.

When that didn’t happen, the BJs still had to feel OK. All they needed was for the second-seeded Blues to do the business and they’d be all right.

But when that didn’t happen? Take it away, Arace:

Had Hitchcock eliminated the Kings, the pick the Kings likely would have sent to the Jackets would have been No. 17 overall. Los Angeles, the No. 8 seed, has shocked its way to the Western Conference finals. In Columbus, a worst-case scenario has played out.

The pick the Jackets would get for Carter is now in the range of No. 27 to No. 30 overall. Given that, the likelihood increases that general manager Scott Howson will exercise his option and wait a year to take the pick.


That said, losing out on a high pick might not be such a bad thing. Based on past drafts (Pascale Leclaire, Nikolai Zherdev, Alex Picard and Nikita Filatov), there’s a pretty good chance Columbus would’ve messed it up anyway.

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.