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Some teams who believe they are in the mix are growing frustrated because they're not getting a clear indication from the Blue Jackets as to what it will take to move the process along.
For those who feel that way, perhaps they're not as close to being in contention for Nash as they might wish. This is such a mammoth trade - in terms of impact on the Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus - and the complexity of establishing Nash's trade value even to the fortunate few believed to be involved, that time is a huge issue. Ten days may not be enough to swing a deal that will impact this team for years to come.
A day after picking up defenseman Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars for a pair of draft picks, Paul Holmgren made another move to bolster his failing blueline by acquiring Pavel Kubina from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, Tampa received the conditional second-round pick they received from the Florida Panthers in the trade for Kris Versteeg, as well as a fourth-round selection in 2013. Philadelphia would have been over the 50-man contract limit, but the Bolts also received minor league forward Jon Kalinski in return.
The Flyers continued a trend of dealing with Tampa Bay. The teams have dealt with each other several times in the past few years, with Philadelphia adding defensemen Matt Carle, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Walker, and now Kubina.
At 6' 4", and 258 pounds, the 34-year-old Kubina gives Philly another large body to patrol the front of their net. He also adds an element that has been missing on the club's back line for years -- since Eric Desjardins retired, to be exact -- and that is a right-handed shot from the point. Kubina possesses a cannon shot, and should give the club a trigger man on the power play.
In 52 games this season, Kubina has three goals, 11 points, 59 PIMs, and a +1 rating. That's a +1 plus / minus rating playing for a team with a -33 goal differential as they struggle through a horrible year.
He is likely to be paired with Carle on the team's second defense pairing, with the rear guard unit taking on this appearance:
Carle - Kubina
Meszaros - Grossman
Kubina has amassed 110 goals, 382 points, and 1,108 PIMs in 953 career games over the course of 13 NHL seasons. He has played for the Lightning (twice), Toronto Maple Leafs, and Atlanta Thrashers. He won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2003-04, the last year before the lockout.
Also confirming the train of thought that another Holmgren trade is imminent is the fact the addition of the defenseman pushes Philly over the upper salary cap limit. According to CapGeek, the Flyers are almost $500,000 above the limit.
One rumor that will not go away is that Rick Nash is soon to be Philly-bound. TSN's Darren Dreger reported via Twitter that the return that the Columbus Blue Jackets are seeking would be James van Riemsdyk, Sergei Bobrovski, Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier. Dreger also said Holmgren feels that price is too high, and they may revisit a deal in some similar form.
Yet, sources continue to tell CSNPhilly.com that the Flyers are listening to Columbus, which had two scouts at Saturday's game and neither were here to look at the Penguins.
One of those "scouts" was general manager Scott Howson, who again met with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. The other was Craig Patrick, ex-Penguins' GM
The Flyers reportedly are looking for defensive help, and Nash doesn't fill that need, but a trade still seems possible.
Which is why general manager Paul Holmgren hedged on Thursday night when asked whether it was "unlikely" he'd make a major trade deadline move. His response was he would NOT use that word. Instead, he paused and replied, "probably not.
The 27 year-old Nash has recorded 18 goals and 21 assists this season.
Paul Holmgren addressed the media regarding his acquisition of defenseman Nicklas Grossman, and the following is the transcript:
Q: How does Nick Grossman help your team now?
"He is experienced, he is a bigger body and he is a good solid defensive defenseman. He can kill penalties for us and play regular shifts. He can chew up minutes. Like I said, he is a big body."
Q: He had the third highest special teams minutes in Dallas. Is that a factor too?
"Well, we have struggled in a lot of areas here lately, penalty killing is certainly one of them. Nick has been around and has developed over time in Dallas. He is still a good young player and we are excited to have him. I think he is going to give us a boost here in our own zone and get us out of our end quickly because he makes a good first pass. He is not a guy that is going to put up a lot of points, but he is a good all around defenseman."
Q: Is he a guy that you would consider resigning?
"I think that kind of goes both ways. Nick has to see if he likes it here, too. We certainly like him. He has been a guy that we talked about over the past few weeks. We talked to Dallas about him, but they weren't prepared to move him until just recently. Like I said, we are happy to have him. We will see where it goes from here."
Q:Why today? Why not a week from now?
"Well, it gets a little hectic around that time. We took a shot today with an offer and talked today for a little while. We ended up being able to make a deal."
Q: Is he going to be here for Saturday?
"We are trying to get him out tonight. Hopefully he can catch a flight that gets in here later tonight so he can practice with our guys tomorrow."
Q: Is this a move where you say you might have something else cooking also?
"This is a crazy time. There are a lot of converstations going on and you never know what might come up."
Q: There is a lot of talk that you guys might make a move for a star player. Is that something that is unlikely?
"I dont' know. I don't know if I would use that word (unlikely). Probably not. Its not something we are talking about at length. I like our team, I still do. We have struggled here of late, we are trying to get it figured out. Having Nick today can help us. We will see what the next ten days or two weeks will bring."
Q:Is getting Grossman today more of an injury replacement?
"It is just adding to the depth. None of those things are long term. So, it was more of adding experience, bigger body and depth."
Q: It is tough going forward with so many rookies. You guys were playing two rookie defensemen every night.
"Those kids have done really well. It is hard to pin this on them. Marc-Andre Bourdon has been tremendous and Erik Gustafsson has been pretty good to, but not as big of a role as Marc-Andre. This has nothing to do with them. We are happy with their progresss and development. They have certainly made themselves part of the mix."
Holmgren also addressed some other issues:
Q: Can you update Jaromir Jagr?
"He is feeling better. Obviously he is not playing tonight but we hope he can practice tomorrow. We will see how he is. This is the thing that Ilya (Bryzgalov) had the same. It just kind of knocks them down for a day or two."
Q: Is [James van Riemsdyk] getting close?
"I think he is getting close. I hate to put any kind of a time frame on it because that particular injury is perplexing. I think he looks good. I think now it just comes down to how James is feeling and when he feels ready."
Q: Have you been surprised at how you have been pushed around in you defensive zone recently?
" Well, I think the game, since the lockout, has changed. For a defenseman, it becomes very difficult to defend in front of your net. If you do knock a guy down, you are going to the box. I would say a lot of our guys are more of containment type of defensemen. They have never really been Chris Pronger-ish, where they are whack somebody. I don't think Nick [Grossman] is a mean player, but he is a physical competetive player that will help us in that area."
It had become painfully apparent that the club's blueline needed some help for some time, and Paul Holmgren picked up a piece to help, acquiring Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars.
While having the All-Star on Giroux's wing is a tempting prospect, the needs of the Orange-and-Black's blueline far outweighs that of the offensive side of the ledger. Especially at the cost that would no doubt be associated with acquiring Nash.
The Philadelphia Flyers could look to shore themselves up defensively by the 2012 NHL trade deadline after struggling since the All-Star break. Hal Gill of the Montreal Canadiens is among the names on their radar.
It's been obvious since the loss of Chris Pronger that the Flyers are in need of a physical aspect on their blueline. Even if that area is filled, it appears there are more shortcomings.