Of course, the week I go on vacation is the week stuff actually happens. So while it might be a little late, I’ll touch on some of the stuff that happened during the past week.
-Rick Nash to NYR Can’t say this one is a big surprise, as most rumors had him going to New York or San Jose. Despite holding out for a king’s ransom, Jackets GM Scott Howson settled for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first rounder. Actually not a bad return, but there are a lot of question marks at forward now for Columbus, with only three players (Prospal, Umberger, Dubinsky) have ever scored 20+ goals, worst in the league. Erixon is a wild card, as he was highly touted but has only played 18 NHL games. The first rounder is nice in a potential deep draft. Also, the trade brings more depth, and while there are no first line studs, it seems like the Jackets will rely on balanced scoring this year. The departure of Nash will also give more ice time to youngsters such as Johansen, Atkinson and Letestu. They almost remind me of the Flyers of last season, with a bunch of potential up front waiting to be realized. For the Rangers, it gives them another weapon on their top line, probably with Gaborik and Richards. Although that’s a lot of money for one line, it might make them top heavy eventually.
-Alex Semin to Carolina Someone was going to give Semin a boatload of money, and it was Canes GM Jim Rutherford. Semin signed a 1 year, $7 million deal. While it’s an overpayment for an inconsistant forward, it’ll bring a much needed boost to the Carolina offense. Even with the signing, they still have $12 million in cap space. It wasn’t likely that someone would offer Semin a long term deal with his reputation, and in today’s market, players either want the security of the long term deal or heavy cash. If it works out for the Canes, maybe they re-sign him for a longer deal. If not, then it doesn’t affect their future much.
-Predators matching Flyers’ offer to Shea Weber This one really didn’t come as a shock to me, despite my hopes that Nashville would just take the four draft picks and walk away (or trade them back for Flyers’ roster players). Even though the Preds will be shelling out a ton of dough to their franchise player, they needed to do it. Despite rumors persisting that Nashville will trade him because he wants to leave (does he? why would he sign the offer knowing he could stay in Nashville?), they are going to owe him $27 million before he’s eligible for a trade. Not a prudent investment for a thrifty team.