Eklund over at Hockeybuzz.com has reported the following:
Blue Jackets and Canucks Talking? Oilers? I am chasing down a rumour this morning that the Jackets are talking to the Canucks about “a center off of their roster.” I don’t yet know what is being discussed the other way.I am also hearing that there have been some discussions that the Oilers may make a pitch for Zherdev.
Of course, this is Eklund, which means take it with a grain of salt. But I always get a kick out of his rumours.
Zherdev has certainly created “drama” here, and I for one, would be happy to see him take it somewhere else. I know there are teams our there that could use his talent. Which he has when he wants to use it. The experiment to try him as center failed, and he has produced virtually nothing during this preseason You’ve got to think that at this point GM Scott Howson is kicking some tires, and listening to all offers.
Vancouver has stated publicly that they need another top 6 winger. Zherdev, when playing up to his ability, is certainly that. Would they be interested in Z? It seems like a valid possibility.
What the Jackets need is a center or another puck moving d-man. There has been rumors of Brendan Morrison being on the block in Vancouver. Morrison is a 32 year old center who has had a very consistent NHL career. He is scheduled to make 3.2 million this year and then will be an unrestricted free agent which means he’ll be free to sign with any team. The Jackets could use him but are they willing to part with Zherdev for a potential 1 year rental..
Another possibility from Vancouver is Mattias Ohlund. A consistent NHL defensemen who is scheduled to make 3.5 million over the next two years. He will then be a UFA himself. The Canucks have a lot of defensive depth but its unlikely they’d move Ohlund unless they dig themselves a hole at the beginning of the year and get a little desperate for offensive help.
Edmonton could use some offensive help and appears to have a lot of options. This team may be a little more plausible considering this is where new CBJ GM Scott Howson was groomed for 7 years as an assistant GM. There are a couple of players on this team that certainly would fill needs for us.
The first being Joni Pitkanen. He is an offensive defensemen who had a horrible year last year which was similar to Zherdev. He has since been shipped off to Edmonton for a multi player deal. Pitkanen signed a 1 year deal with Edmonton this summer and rumors are that he may be flipped yet again. Coach Ken Hitchcock has experience with this player as he coached him in Philly so it would seem if he did come over in a trade for Z we know what we’d be getting. On paper he would most certainly fill a need as an offensive defensemen.
The other player would be Shawn Horcoff. He is scheduled to make 3.6 million over the next two years and then will be a UFA. He would fill an immediate need as a top 2 center. Maybe not the most ideal option but considering Z will make 3.5 million next year the salaries are a wash and Horcoff plays a good North American game.
Hopefully GM Scott Howson will put out feelers around the league if he is serious about dealing Z and if he does deal him, it’s for something that will immediately help this team.