About Ryan Murray:
- If Murray is able to make the Blue Jackets next season — and many draft-watchers think he’s ready to make the jump — he’ll team up with Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski to give Columbus a potentially formidable blue line. (NBC’s Joe Yerdon)
- We’re told that Murray does everything well. Smart. Fearless. Skilled. Competitive. (USA Today’s Kevin Allen)
- The epitome of the junior who seems to 18 going on 30, since he’s a very smooth skater who makes good choices with the puck…The only rap on Murray, who’s drawn comparisons with Scott Niedermayer, is that he doesn’t have a raging mean streak. He’s always been so advanced that he hasn’t needed it until now. There is a school of thought that Murray might not be a No. 1 defenseman at the NHL level, but it’s safe to assume he’ll be on someone’s top pairing. (Yahoo’s Neate Sager)
- He’s NHL ready and will play with the Blue Jackets next season. (TSN’s Pierre McGuire)
- [Murray] has NHL-ready defensive ability and is probably the safest pick in this draft. And Columbus probably needs safe picks more than any other franchise in the league right now. Murray should be good enough to play in the NHL right away, which gives the deep Blue Jackets’ blueline even more depth. They could be shipping out a D-man or two in the days/weeks ahead. (The Hockey News)
- Ryan Murray, who was talked about as the potential first-overall pick, addresses Columbus’ need to improve its depth on the back end. Mature beyond his years, he’s already proven he can play with the elite at the World Championships while playing for Team Canada. (ESPN’s Grant Sonier)
About Rick Nash:
- New York isn’t terribly thrilled this Nash thing is dragging out, although not nearly as annoyed as the Nash camp itself. In a smart move, the Rangers opened a dialogue with Anaheim on winger Bobby Ryan.
Other clubs also interested in Nash include Ottawa and Carolina. The Senators want to stay in the mix even though their best hook is now gone. With the Jackets drafting two goalies Saturday, plus trading for Sergei Bobrovsky on Friday, I doubt the Jackets would have interest in either Robin Lehner or Ben Bishop at this point. Still, the Senators can stay in by changing their possible offer. It might surprise some that the Hurricanes are in the mix, especially after picking up Jordan Staal Friday. But a source confirmed that Carolina is intent on staying in the race for Nash (ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun)
- The July 1 date might also start the ball rolling again on talks for Rick Nash, the Columbus sniper who still very much appeals to the Senators.
“I think it’s alive for a lot of teams,” [Ottawa GM Bryan] Murray said when asked if he was still in the running for Nash. “From what I understand, they’re going to wait until July 1, and then they think the market is going to up a little bit after Zach Parise is signed, and then they’ll have more suitors and a bigger deal (and) they might get better assets.
Murray hedged when asked if he’s made Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson his best offer.
“They talked to me about young players they like in the organization, and I said when you’re ready to talk serious and maybe make a deal, we’ll talk,” said Murray. “I’m not throwing a whole bunch of names out there and letting them pick what they want to pick, by any means. We’ll see when the time comes what happens. They’ve told me they’ll definitely get back to me, to see if there’s interest in our part.” (Canoe Sports)
Philadelphia and Carolina – two clubs known to be in on Nash – may have bowed out of contention during draft weekend. Carolina acquired center Jordan Staal in a blockbuster deal with Pittsburgh, and it’s unlikely they could handle Nash and his $7.8 million cap hit. The Flyers traded winger James van Riemsdyk to Toronto in a late-afternoon deal for defenseman Luke Schenn. The Jackets were said to be asking for van Riemsdyk as the central piece in return for Nash.
The New York Rangers are expected to make an almighty push to sign Zach Parise away from the New Jersey Devils on July 1. Parise has said he won’t sign with the rival Rangers, then implored writers not to “make that headline.” If Rangers GM Glen Sather doesn’t get Parise, maybe he’s likely to come hard at Nash.
Maybe San Jose and Ottawa are still in the mix. Maybe…
The Dispatch learned today that Ottawa is not on Nash’s prefered list. Doesn’t mean the two sides aren’t talking, and doesn’t mean Nash can’t be traded there. Just means he’d have to alter his list before he could get traded to the Senators. (The Columbus Dispatch)
About Sergei Bobrovsky:
- A team that has struggled mightily to draft and develop its own players on Friday gave up three draft picks — two fourth-round picks and a second-round pick — for a goaltender who has given little indication he can be an NHL starter in Sergei Bobrovsky…
The problem for the Blue Jackets is that the price they paid comes with zero guarantee they have made their lot in life better. (ESPN)
- Howson’s getting killed already for giving up three picks for what amounts to an investment in a backup or platoon goalie. It’s called the marketplace — have we forgotten the return for Anders Lindback already?
[Bobrovsky is] a competitive guy that was never going to get another shot in Philadelphia to be the starter. The Blue Jackets’ options were either swing for the fences with a big name veteran or bring in a goalie in this age range. (Yahoo)
- To be sure, Howson would be taking a chance with a Bobrovsky-Mason tandem. But in fairness, what’s the alternative? He could make a play for Roberto Luongo; however, Luongo might not waive his no-trade clause to join the Blue Jackets.
After Luongo, the list of available goalies falls off a cliff in terms of quality. If you’re going to roll the dice, it might as well be on a still-developing 23-year-old. (NBC)