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NHL Trade Rumors – 22 Sep 14

Ryan Johansen - Columbus Blue Jackets

– According to Aaron Portzline from his blog Puck Raker’s Blog he stated that the Columbus Blue Jackets have not budged from their last offer made in June to center Ryan Johansen. We all know that the sides are at a stalemate and with the season fast approaching, the Blue Jackets may not have Johansen in their roster come the start of the season.

Ryan Johansen - Columbus Blue JacketsThe last offer made by Jackets management was two years at 6 million dollars. So 3 million a season is contract is an excellent “bridge” contract until he gets the large lucrative deal. The problem is that Johansen wants the long lucrative deal now. The latest rumors are indicating that offers have come up from the KHL which were denied by CSKA Moscow general manager Sergei Fedorov. The rumor was calling for an offer of 5 million a year contract.

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards who’s anxious to have Johansen back in the lineup mentioned that he will have to try a mix of combinations in the next pre-season games to see who will best fill the spot. “We’re going to have to take a look at a lot of guys and try some different combinations,” Richards said. With two wins under their belt in the pre-season, the latest against the Carolina Hurricanes in a score of 4-3, Richards had Mark Letestu, Michael Chaput, Dana Tyrell and Brian Gibbons at center. Last night they rotated their centers and had Boone Jenner, Artem Anisimov, Alexander Wennberg and Nick Moutrey patrolling the center ice position in a 4-3 overtime win against the St-Louis Blues.

Johansen is currently in Vancouver where his residence and it is believed the two parties are 3 million apart. Last year Ryan Johansen recorded 33 goals and 30 assists for 63 points in 82 games played in 2013-2014.

Lecavalier staying or going?

One player to watch for a possible trade is Vincent Lecavalier. Last summer, the Flyers did try to unload the veteran center to a few teams but couldn’t find any takers. Even his agaent gave permission to Flyers management to try unloading him. One major obstacle for the trade to happen is Lecavalier’s contract – again which is now set at 4.5 million per for the next four years. The closest rumors had Lecavalier heading to either Nashville who wanted to bolster their offense at the time or to his residential state in Florida with the Panthers in Sunrise. Lecavalier still has his residence in Tampa Bay.

Now that the season about to start Ron Hextall will attempt to give it more try with Lecavalier and try make the most of it. Should Lecavalier falter early this season, Hextall will be looking for a team to take on the center. This year, it has already been reported that Lecavalier will start the season at center, compare to last year where he ended up mostly on the wings.

Lecavalier could find a new niche for his career by becoming more of a defensive forward. That move could extend his career until his contract ends. It is expected that Vincent Lecavalier will be employed as a second line or third line center with some time on the power play. He could also be developed this year as a defensive center with a scoring touch. Should he regain his scoring touch, he could stay with the Flyers and be an asset to their offense on a second line. If not, it could be a long season and Hextall may be faced to pick as much as half of his salary in order to move him.

Are Marleau and Thornton due to leave San Jose?

In the summer, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau were mentioned in trade rumors following the San Jose Sharks’ fall to the Los Angeles Kings after leading 3-1 in their series. Even the captaincy was taken away from Thornton and that normally would result in an imminent trade in most cases. The Sharks are known to do very well in regular season but falter in the playoffs, and that is with Thornton and Marleau in their roster. What clutters the issue in their case is that both Marleau and Thornton are starting on new extensions granted by general manager Doug Wilson that includes a no-trade-clause. In this day and age, no-trade-clause can be easily lifted if the player is heading where he would like to go especially if it is a contender.

They will be difficult to move but should the Sharks end up having problems this season or in the playoffs next Spring; one of those two veterans will have to be moved. And to add to the drama, probably Wilson will be fired anyway. With the Shark’s depth, they will be in the hunt again and should make the playoffs. An early exit could mean the end of either Marleau or Thornton.

My choice would be Thornton since marleau was drafted by the Sharks. One other player to also watch and that could be on the move is goaltender Antti Niemi. Wilson will use this season to make his final decision on his two longtime Sharks.

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