Tag: Brett Lebda

Jack Johnson, RJ Umberger, James Wisniewski

Offseason Report: Columbus Blue Jackets


From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

29-46-7, 65 points. 15th in Western Conference, fifth in Central Division. Worst team in NHL.


Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, Nick Foligno, Adrian Aucoin, Sergei Bobrovsky


Rick Nash, Aaron Johnson, Darryl Boyce, Brett Lebda, Radek Martinek

2012 Draft

First round, second overall — Ryan Murray (D – Everett – WHL)

Looking back

After the season started with so much hope and even some folks thinking a summer filled with big moves would lead to the playoffs, things crashed and burned as bad as they ever could have.

The trade for Jeff Carter flamed out and he was dealt to L.A. for Jack Johnson and Carter went on to win the Stanley Cup. Figures, right? James Wisniewski dealt with injuries and suspensions and Rick Nash got tired of carrying the team and managed to get himself traded, finally, this summer.

Things were so typically Blue Jackets that even in spite of having the worst record in the league they still didn’t land the top overall pick in the draft. They’re practically the Eeyore of the NHL.

Looking forward

Now that they’ve moved on from having Nash be the leader of the team, they’ll look to be more of a team-oriented organization. Anisimov gives them a solid centerman while Dubinsky is a gutsy player. Nick Foligno should get plenty of time to grind things out with R.J. Umberger and company.

Their blue line corps is going to be young but there’s reasons for hope. Along with Johnson and Wisniewski, Nikita Nikitin is proving to be a solid pickup while young guys like Murray, Erixon, and John Moore. Growing pains will be hard, but at least there’s hope. A goalie tandem of Bobrovsky and Steve Mason might drive Jackets fans insane.

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Blue Jackets’ 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

We have a trade to announce: Yzerman orchestrates three-team deal

yzerman tampa

Steve Yzerman is emerging as the star of this year’s trade deadline.

The Tampa Bay GM has pulled off his third and fourth trades over the last five days by sending forward Steve Downie to Colorado in exchange for defenseman Kyle Quincey, then trading Quincey to Detroit in exchange for the Red Wings’ first-round pick in 2012 and defenseman Sebastien Piche.

Tampa now has two first-round and three second-round picks (possibly four) at the 2012 draft.

As for the remaining details…

— Quincey, 26, was arguably Colorado’s top blueliner this season. He was tied for the team lead in defenseman scoring (23 points, with Erik Johnson) but led in goals (five), power play goals (three) and time on ice per game (22:21).

It’s not surprising Detroit wanted Quincey after losing him on waivers in 2008:

The Wings placed Quincey on waivers because they needed some salary cap space in case they needed to recall a goaltender from Grand Rapids in the event of a short-term injury or illness to one of their goalies.

Wings general manager Ken Holland said he talked to about five or six teams that were interested in Quincey and at one point were close to a deal that fell through. Teams were reluctant to part with a draft pick for a player who hadn’t established himself in the NHL.

“I’m happy for Kyle. He’s been patient,” Holland said. “With us acquiring Brad Stuart and the development of Brett Lebda and Jonathan Ericsson. We like Derek Meech. We can’t keep everybody.”

— Somewhat surprising to see Downie get shipped out. The 24-year-old had been a solid contributor for the Bolts since coming over from Philadelphia three seasons ago, scoring a career-high 22 goals in 2009-10. He was also Tampa’s fourth-leading scorer in last year’s playoffs (2G-12A-14PTS in 17 games), finishing ahead of Steve Stamkos.

Downie’s reputation as one of the league’s most renowned — and reckless — agitators gives the Avs more bite, something they’ve been lacking this season outside of Cody McLeod and Shane O’Brien. That said, Downie has a penchant for taking bad penalties and has been a repeat visitor to the NHL’s disciplinary department.

— Downie and Quincey are both impending RFAs. Downie’s in the final year of a deal with an annual cap hit of $1.85 million while Quincey’s is $3.13 million.

— Piche is an undrafted free agent currently playing with AHL Grand Rapids.

— Projecting: Detroit’s top six defensemen are now Nicklas Lidstrom, Ian White, Niklas Kronwall, Stuart, Ericsson and Quincey.

Blue Jackets place two defensemen on IR as fun continues

Nashville Predators v Columbus Blue Jackets

Say what you will about another miserable season in Columbus; it’s not as if the Blue Jackets have received a lot of lucky breaks.

They’ve faced injuries and suspensions left and right, including issues for big off-season acquisitions Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski. The misery keeps building, however, as the team announced that defensemen Marc Methot and Brett Lebda have been placed on the injured reserve.

Not enough of a beating for you? The Blue Jackets also revealed that Curtis Sanford is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, forcing an emergency recall of netminder Allen York.

Defenseman Dalton Prout also received the emergency recall treatment to try to patch up one of the spots that has opened up.

Methot has seven points and averaged 20:03 minutes per game in 46 contests while Lebda scored a goal and zero assists while logging 20:16 minutes per contest in five appearances in the NHL this season.

Radek Martinek’s season is over; Columbus signs Brett Lebda

Vancouver Canucks v Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been hard by a lot of things – reality, the brutal Central Division and Western Conference – but injuries rank pretty high on that list.

Losing Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski for extended amounts of time obviously garners the headlines, but they’ve been without a 20-minute-per-game for most of 2011-12 and he won’t be back again. The Blue Jackets announced that Radek Martinek will sit out the rest of this season because of his concussion issues.

Considering the fact that Martinek only appeared in seven games, it might be a stretch to say that Brett Lebda has been signed to “replace” him in the lineup, but one can look at Lebda’s one-year deal that way. To some long-suffering Blue Jackets fans, the signing of Lebda adds salt to their wounds because he’s been a scapegoat of a blueliner in his other shaky NHL stops.

Either way, these stories are all too typical for the woeful Blue Jackets, who cannot be blamed if they decide to “Fail for Nail/Mikhail” for the rest of this season.

Dreger: Some team made a silly offer for Toronto’s Cody Franson

Cody Franson; James Reimer

TSN’s Darren Dreger had an interesting report this morning saying that an unnamed team made Toronto an offer for defenseman Cody Franson. Dreger tweeted that this team offered a player and a second-round draft pick for Franson.

We don’t ever doubt Dreger’s sources, the guy is plugged in and knows what’s up. Our question is: Why hasn’t Brian Burke already accepted this offer? Franson is in the dog house in a big way in Toronto and the Leafs have a bit of depth on the blue line. While the player they could get in return might be another defenseman, if it wasn’t they still have Keith Aulie, Matt Lashoff, and Korbinian Holzer in the AHL as depth filler.

(Update (10:25 a.m.): Chris Iorfida of CBC Sports notes to us that Lashoff is out six months after suffering a knee injury over the weekend. That’ll hurt the depth a bit.)

Franson has turned into a disappointment for Toronto after coming over in the lopsided deal with Nashville that saw the Leafs also pick up Matt Lombardi while sending away Brett Lebda. Franson hasn’t exactly worked out well going from complaining about not playing to not playing well when he was put in the lineup. If the Leafs can get that kind of return on a guy they’re not playing, it’s a surprise they haven’t already agreed to the deal.