After Rick Nash wasn’t traded at the deadline this season, you knew it would just be a matter of time before the rumors and speculation on where he was headed would begin again.
That time is now as Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch writes, as GM Scott Howson will begin chatting with interested teams at the GM meetings on Wednesday. Portzline says if you’re eyeballing a date when a deal could happen, there are two big ones to keep in mind.
Howson will likely get his best offers on the night of the NHL draft’s first round, set for June 22 in Pittsburgh. It could happen the day before, as did the Jackets’ trade for Jeff Carter last year. But if the NHL draft passes with Nash still a Blue Jacket, the next target date arrives in the days after free agency opens on July 1.
As he notes, the Blue Jackets were busy around draft day last summer and the same might happen this year as well. As for the Blue Jackets and how they’re preparing for next season, Portzline notes coach Todd Richards conspicuously left out Nash when discussing next season. When you leave out Nash and you’re mentioning Jack Johnson, R.J. Umberger, Vinny Prospal, and Cam Atkinson it might be safe to assume the team is already moving on without Rick Nash in mind.
With teams like the Bruins perhaps in the hunt for Nash as well as past suitors like the Rangers and Sharks maybe looking to add a big piece to their rosters, it could be an ideal market for Howson to get the offer he’s dreaming of. He’d better hope so or else things could get really awkward.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?