So I missed my prediction of the Nash re-signing by 2 hours . . . got the word via Twitter as I got off the plane in Ft. Lauderdale. I actually thought that there would be a few years more on the term, and a higher average, but this represents a very nice middle ground for all concerned. The contract covers the prime of Nash's career, puts him solidly in the upper echelon of forwards in the NHL in terms of earnings, and provides him with some protection from the cap dip expected next year. The Jackets can breathe a sigh of relief for awhile, have budgetary predictability, as well as room to take care of their younger players. Kudos to all sides for sitting down and getting this done. Next time, let's try and avoid the hysteria . . .
As many predicted, last week was fairly quiet on the FA front. I expect this week will bring some more activity, as just a tinge of desperation will be creeping into some quarters. Started to see that last week with a couple of goalie signings.
My sources tell me that there have been "a few" conversations between the Jackets and the agent for Phillipe Boucher. While not a long term solution, he could come in for a couple of years at a reasonable number and provide some good all-around blue line work. He is a good guy, and would fit in well with the organization. Talks are not deemed "serious" yet, but we shall see. Trade talks are also continuing, with Dallas one of the franchises in the mix.
Another week without either Malhotra or Williams signing is hopeful. I don't think Manny's pride would let him come back here, as I don't think he wants to battle Pahlsson for the 3rd line center slot. Williams is another story. I know that word on the street is that Hitch doesn't like Williams work ethic, but give him a full season with the system. Sign for 1 year with a team option for a second year. He can shoot the puck -- a skill we lack.
More on the Arena issue and lots of miscellaneous stuff as the week progresses. Good to be back!