Columbus GM says Rangers consistently “showed most interest” in Rick Nash


The New York Rangers were connected to Rick Nash trade rumors for a long time, and if Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson’s quotes are any indication, the rumors were justified. Howson stated that the Rangers showed frequent interest in Nash, as Katie Strang reports.

“The Rangers were the team that showed the most interest in Rick, consistently,” Howson said.

Many weren’t impressed with the assets Howson garnered from the Rangers, despite Nash’s positive words. Howson claims the framework of the deal was more or less in place on Friday night. Some believe that Howson could have gotten a similar deal earlier on in the process, however, which is a notion that Howson (sort of) denied, as Dave Lozo “notes.”

“I’m not sure if we could have gotten this deal at the trade deadline,” Howson said. “I’d have to check my notes.”

Perhaps “I’d have to check my notes” has some legs as a meme among hockey fanatics, although it’s unlikely to approach the “so you’re an expert?” level.

Howson also told Aaron Portzline that Columbus will “be eternally grateful” for Nash’s contributions.

Howson discusses the deal with Blue Jackets TV:


Blue Jackets receive “four question marks” for Nash

What they’re saying about the trade

Nash calls New York a “great fit”

Predators fans’ answer for the octopus: catfish, of course


The Nashville Predators play in a market where hockey might seem foreign, but they might just have the cleverness and energy to make up for a lack of “tradition.” Speaking of traditions, much like Phoenix Coyotes fans did with “#throwthesnake,” Predators fans have reacted to the Detroit Red Wings’ octopus-throwing fans by tossing … catfish.

At least one Predators fan chucked the popular Southern seafood staple onto the ice after a Paul Gaustad goal, which opened up the scoring in tonight’s Red Wings-Predators game.

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(Note: I haven’t come across photos of the phenomenon just yet, so feel free to share some in the comments if you happen upon any.)

As #throwthecatfish may or may not pick up social media steam on Twitter, I must ask: is throw the catfish superior to the throw the snake? On one hand, catfish is a more readily edible food* and can be fished out of a body of water, which makes it more closely aligned to the original octopus. On the other hand, throw the snake came first, so it deserves points for being a predecessor of sorts (plus it’s usually of a rubber variety, which is easier on the ice and whoever has to clean it up).

Final thought: is this a sign that we’ll see some plastic rats fly in Florida again? One can only hope.

* – I don’t want to estrange any snake-eating readers.

Dustin Penner ruins several memes with first goal of season

For some Twitter snarksters, Dec. 3, 2011 carried a certain somber sadness. Sure, the jokes won’t go away altogether, but Dustin Penner finally scored a goal on Saturday. That one tally leaves/ties him at 510th place in the NHL, so it’s not like Penner gained respectability in one afternoon game against the Montreal Canadiens. Still, it’s undeniable that some of the humor will lose its luster after he finally found the twine.

Here’s video evidence of that not-so-historic goal.

(I must admit I’m a little disappointed that Penner opted against using Steve Young’s “monkey off my back” pantomime after scoring that goal.)

So it wasn’t a highlight reel goal by any means, but that’s actually the type of work that the Kings hope they’ll see more of: Penner in front of the net, cleaning up the garbage.

The best Kings humorists will still find a way to mine gold from Penner’s decrepit stats, but again, some of the innocence (or maybe guilt?) was lost in that unspectacular goal. Before we go, allow me to submit a stat that’s a lot sadder than it is funny: Penner scored 100 percent of the Kings’ goals on Saturday.

Keith Ballard’s first goal came against his current landlord … Dan Cloutier?

It’s a rather specific fantasy, but I imagine it’s one that exists in the imaginations of hockey fans living in an apartment/townhouse/and so on: scoring a goal on your landlord. Maybe the man or woman ignores your desperate phone calls when your toilet overflows and no amount of plunging can save the day. Perhaps that person barely bats an eye when you gripe about the Volkswagen-sized insects inhabiting your living quarters.

Whatever the case, it’s probably one of the 5,078* different scenarios a person might imagine when in such an isolated incident of incitement.

* This number is in no way scientific and is in every way made up on the spot.

For Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard, this unlikely event happened during his first career NHL goal. The Canucks’ official Web site captures the story of Ballard’s his first career goal – which was actually scored against the Canucks – as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Ballard made his NHL debut in Vancouver, where he also notched his first goal and no doubt the emotions were high that day for the, then, 22 year-old.

“I was excited about that whole game. I was so nervous and so excited at the same time just to be playing and to have your first game that I don’t even remember how I felt. I know I was excited the whole day leading up to it.”

“I got a pass out of the corner Mike Johnson, I believe – current TSN analyst. I shot a little left on Dan Cloutier, who’s now my landlord.”

Someone, somewhere, is probably putting together a convoluted Photoshop that somehow combines the “Cloutier allowing a beach ball goal” meme with his new job as a landlord. I shudder to think of the possibilities.

Amazingly enough, the Canucks Web site actually has video of that first goal. Here it is in it’s not-quite-vintage glory.

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Click here to read more stories of first ever goals for Canucks players, including Ballard, Mikael Samuelsson, Dan Hamhuis and Raffi Torres.

(H/T to Nucks Misconduct.)