Jackets coach won’t put Horton and Gaborik on same line


The one catch for Columbus signing Nathan Horton is that he’ll need shoulder surgery this summer so it’ll be a while before he officially suits up for the Blue Jackets.

When he does, however, don’t expect him to be on the same line with Marian Gaborik as Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch shares. Richards wants other teams to make a decision on who they send their best defensemen after.

“It makes them make a decision: ‘Who are we going to go after?’ ” Richards said. “If they have one shut-down (defensive) pair, that’s going to leave something a little more open for us, maybe.”

So how will he set up the lines? Young forward Cam Atkinson may have to slide to left wing to play alongside Horton. Brandon Dubinsky and either R.J. Umberger or Atkinson could wind up skating with Horton. Meanwhile, Gaborik will likely stay with Artem Anisimov while Umberger or Atkinson lands on their left side.

Sounds pretty good either way for the Eastern Conference-bound Jackets.

Wings want Cleary back, but need to shed salary


Detroit has a surplus of forwards and a shortage of salary cap space, but that doesn’t mean they want to part ways with Daniel Cleary.

Brendan Savage of Mlive.com says the team would like to bring the veteran forward back into the fold, but would have to lose salary to do it. The Wings are currently at $66 million on their payroll and have to be down below $64.3 million at the start of the season.

The Wings also have an unbalanced number of forwards.

According to CapGeek.com, the Red Wings currently have 16 forwards under control at the moment either via contract or as restricted free agents.

To bring Cleary back as the 17th, that would mean moving out more than a couple players. As it is, Wings GM Ken Holland still has to get Gustav Nyqvist and Joakim Andersson signed to new deals as RFAs and wanting Cleary back only adds to the intrigue.

Trades on the horizon in Detroit? If the Wings are going to bring Cleary and his bad knees back to Motown, there’s going to be some action.

Jets sign defenseman Pardy — one year, $600,000

Adam Pardy is leaving Buffalo for another winter wonderland in Winnipeg.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Pardy signed a one-year, one-way deal with the Jets worth $600,000.

Pardy spent this past season with the Sabres and found himself bouncing in and out of the lineup playing in just 17 games. He had no goals and four assists in that time. He was also part of the Steve Ott-Derek Roy deal last summer.

Pardy joins a Winnipeg blue line corps that’s waiting to see when restricted free agent Zach Bogosian re-signs. There, he’ll be a depth guy as the Jets have Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byfuglien, Mark Stuart, and Grant Clitsome ready to go while rookie Jacob Trouba is poised to take the scene by storm.

Iginla loving everything about Boston now


Jarome Iginla signing with the Boston Bruins helped everyone think back on the madness that erupted the night he was traded by Calgary. While he chose the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Bruins on that night, he says he’s happy to be a Bruin now.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty shares the story on Iginla’s elation with what the Bruins have going on.

“My family and I are very excited to be joining the Bruins,” said Iginla. “I love the way they play. They are extremely hard to play against, and they have lots of grit and determination.

“I feel like there’s a great chance for me to win here.”

Everything about Boston’s style of hockey could be used to describe how Iginla plays it. Skilled but tough, Iginla will get to move back to the right wing with the Bruins now that Nathan Horton (Columbus) and Jaromir Jagr (free agent) are headed elsewhere.

Now he’ll just have to hope B’s fans can forgive and forget what happened this season.

Oilers sign former Stars backup Bachman to one-year deal

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There could be a battle for the backup job in Edmonton.

The Oilers announced the signing of former Stars backup Richard Bachman to a one-year deal. He joins former Coyotes backup Jason LaBarbera who signed with Edmonton yesterday.

Bachman spent part of last season in the AHL but at 25 years-old, he gives the Oilers the option of having him get more work in with their affiliate in Oklahoma City. While LaBarbera has the edge on backing up Devan Dubnyk in Edmonton, it’ll be worth watching to see if Bachman pushes him for the job.

That said, Bachman’s NHL numbers weren’t very good last year as he went 6-5-0 in 13 games with a 3.25 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage.