John Davidson’s long flirtation with the Columbus Blue Jackets is reportedly about to pay off.
Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch says the two sides are close to signing off on a deal that will make Davidson the President of Hockey Operations.
Portzline also reports general manager Scott Howson, assistant GM Chris MacFarland, and senior adviser of hockey operations Craig Patrick will retain their jobs with the team. The catch here is that Davidson will be the boss of all three guys.
As you might remember, Davidson was allowed to look for a new job when Tom Stillman bought the St. Louis Blues and the one team he gravitated towards immediately was Columbus. He’ll have his hands full in trying to help turn the Jackets around as they’ve made the playoffs just once in team history.
It might feel strange to see Jaromir Jagr in a Dallas Stars jersey, but what if he was setting off cannons in Columbus?
Aaron Portzline reports that Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson extended a one-year, $4.2 million offer to Jagr, who eventually accepted a bit more ($4.5 million) with Dallas.
Portzline points out someone who would have a “heavy hand” in bringing in Jagr: new CBJ adviser Craig Patrick drafted him as the Pittsburgh Penguins GM.
Jagr told Randy Miller that he almost felt like Patrick viewed him as “his kid” back when he asked to be traded from Pittsburgh.
“He drafted me. I felt like I was his kid or something,” Jagr said. “I think it would be tough for him to trade me if I didn’t come to him and say it.”
So there’s a fun “What if?” scenario for you.
The Blue Jackets did draft Jakub Voracek – aka “Jagr Jr.” – so it would have been an odd full circle moment.
Instead, Sergei Fedorov remains arguably the strangest Blue Jacket yet.
You have to give the Columbus Blue Jackets some credit, they’re assembling quite the cast of names for positions with the team.
Today, the Jackets announced the hiring of Craig Hartsburg as associate coach under Todd Richards. Hartsburg is a former head coach with the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, and Ottawa Senators and Richards is more than happy to have him on board.
“Craig Hartsburg has been a successful head coach at every level of hockey including the NHL, has been an assistant or associate coach in the League and was an All-Star as a player, so I feel very fortunate to add a coach and person of his caliber to our staff,” said Richards. “He will be a valuable resource for me, our staff and players, and I am very happy to welcome him to the Columbus Blue Jackets.”
Hartsburg joining up as an associate head coach along with Craig Patrick working in the front office along with Scott Howson gives Columbus some big hockey names to go with their organization. Add in their apparent pursuit of John Davidson to join the team and the Blue Jackets almost seem… legitimate.
Now if the team could find a way to make the names on the ice more of a big deal maybe they’ll have something going there. One other note: Craig Hartsburg is also the former head coach of the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and coached Ryan Murray there. Well isn’t that a happy coincidence!
You can’t have a big time player in trade rumors and not have the Flyers involved in talks one way or another.
According to CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio, sources tell him that Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson are discussing the possibility of sending Rick Nash to the Flyers. Of course the main issue here for the Flyers if they want to land Nash comes in what they’d have to give up to get him. Panaccio says the price might not be worth Philly’s trouble.
As for the asking price for a player of Nash’s caliber? Probably Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn.
But … it may be something else. It may be James van Riemsdyk, another player, plus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Or a high draft pick besides a player.
The Flyers don’t want to move Couturier or Schenn, but if I’m Howson, I want both those players.
Yikes. A package of van Riemsdyk, Bobrovsky, and Couturier or Schenn would be a whopper. Toss in a first-round pick as well and you’ve got a deal that looks great on paper for Columbus. The chances of Philly giving up that much young talent to make it happen while not strengthening their defensive unit seems slim.
As Panaccio stresses, it’s all rumors right now but with Howson and Blue Jackets senior adviser Craig Patrick both scouting the Flyers personally, that provides enough fuel to keep the rumors burning.
PHT Oddsmaker will be a regular feature where we set pretend odds and pretend to gamble on them. If you’d like to bet real money, meet us in the alley and we’ll talk.
Odds of a Boston-Vancouver Stanley Cup rematch (25/1)
A month ago, these odds would’ve been considerably longer. But both teams have put their sluggish starts in the rearview mirror, and that’s an understatement. Boston is 14-1-1 since opening 3-7-0; Vancouver is 7-1-0 since starting 9-9-1. At last glance, one online bookmaker had the Bruins at 5/1 to win the Eastern Conference and the Canucks at 5/1 to win the Western Conference. Thus, the 25/1 odds they’ll meet in the final. It’s a long shot, but put me down for a few bucks on this one. The Penguins are the only team in the East that might (read: might) be favored to beat the B’s in a series. And who would you favor to take out the Canucks in the West? Detroit? Maybe. Chicago? Not with the goaltending they’re getting now. San Jose? Nope.
Odds Carolina finishes last in the NHL (+250)
At least for the moment, the Hurricanes have to be considered the league’s worst team. Carolina is 3-13-1 in its last 17 games and hasn’t won in over two weeks. Columbus is still in 30th place with 19 points, but the ‘Canes are only one point better. The Blue Jackets are also playing relatively well lately. Long story short, my five contenders to finish last are Carolina, Columbus, NY Islanders, Anaheim and Colorado. And out of that group, I kind of like the ‘Canes at +250. Biggest factor for me is Cam Ward. When he’s not standing on his head (and he’s not) and the defense is playing too soft in front of him (and it is), then it’s pretty hard to keep the puck out of the net (and it’s going in a lot).
Odds Craig Patrick is named general manager of the Blue Jackets by the end of the regular season (+300)
For this to occur, two things would have to happen. First, Scott Howson would have to be fired. Second, Patrick would have to be offered the job. (Obviously.) But in order to answer those questions, we have to guess who pushed for Patrick’s hiring in the first place. Howson says he’s the one who recruited Patrick, but did he recruit Patrick because he wanted to or because ownership persuaded him to? It’s worth noting that Patrick will be working out of Pittsburgh, not Columbus, so it’s not like he’ll be able to secretly meet with ownership every lunch. I think I’ll pass on this one. Wouldn’t be surprised if it happened eventually, but not before the end of the season.