Columbus Blue Jackets v Dallas Stars

Likely candidates to lead Blue Jackets in scoring


Whether the Columbus Blue Jackets are a better team with or without Rick Nash, someone else will be the team’s leading scorer in 2012-13.

So who might that be? Let’s take a look at the most likely candidates.

Vinny Prospal – The veteran forward was neck-and-neck with Nash most of last season before falling five points behind for the team lead.

Brandon Dubinsky – He’s arguably the gem of the trade that sent Nash to New York; could a resurgence be in order?

R.J. Umberger – Umberger has generated four consecutive 20+ goal seasons and is a year removed from scoring 57 points – strong on a team full of “second-liners.”

Ryan Johansen – Could the team’s hottest offensive prospect be primed for a big leap?

Derick Brassard – Another Columbus first-rounder with a lot of room for improvement (and solid potential).

James Wisniewski or Jack Johnson – The Blue Jackets sport two defensemen who could be described as offensive catalysts. It’s far from unprecedented for a blueliner to lead a low-scoring team in points.

Artem Anisimov – Gun salutes seem like a natural fit for a franchise that fires a cannon after goals, right?


Are the Blue Jackets a better team without Nash?

Offseason report

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”



Oilers place Scrivens on waivers

Jordan Martinook, Ben Scrivens
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The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.