2013 NHL PREVIEW: PACIFIC DIVISION

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Finally, after months and months of everyone involved being morons, causing 113 days, 625 games, and the biggest outdoor hockey game in history to be cancelled, hockey fans can finally say “Game On!”  The NHL has a new 10-year labor agreement, and is set to start the shortened, 48 game 2013 season on Saturday, January 19.  Find out what you need to know about every team in the NHL for the upcoming season, this time featuring the Pacific Division.  Continue after the jump to find out where your team will finish.

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Columbus trading Rick Nash: it’s complicated!

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It’s expected that the Columbus Blue Jackets will trade their only true All-Star player and face of the franchise Rick Nash on or before the upcoming NHL Entry Draft on June 22nd.  Rumored trade discussions and speculated trading partners have been flying almost as quickly as trying to keep the hottest of DVDs on a Blockbuster ™store shelf.

And while some pundits and local observers believe this long-speculated trade of Nash is a forgone conclusion and will go down before the draft, I believe that doing so is a lot more complicated than that and I’ll explain why.

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Columbus Blue Jackets Make Major Statement with Carter Acquisition

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In my most recent article, I expressed the belief that a trade for Jeff Carter could be the very move that could save the Blue Jackets’ franchise.  On June 23rd, GM Scott Howson traded for the former Philadelphia Flyers sniper, offering in return Jakub Voracek and Columbus’ 1st and 3rd round picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

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Columbus Blue Jackets Looking to Acquire Flyers Jeff Carter?

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The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson has been in long-term discussions with Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren since this past January. The target? Acquiring talented center Jeff Carter.

The Dispatch is also reporting that talks between the two GMs have intensified since the Flyers acquired the rights to former Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, as signing Bryzgalov will certainly command an asking price of $6 million/season.  And, for a cap-burgeoningteam like the Flyers, that leaves a noticeable asset that has to be moved in order to get under the NHL’s projected team salary cap.

While such a proposed trade might appear to be a ‘slam dunk’ move for one of the NHL’s moribund franchises, having only made one playoff appearance in their ten seasons of existence, making such a move would have even greater repercussions, as in the key to the Blue Jackets’ survival in Columbus.

By Ed Cmar

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Flyers’ Biggest Stars Aren’t producing in the Finals

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Much has been made of the Chicago Blackhawks‘ top line struggles during these 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. At least up until game 5, when the Hawks’ young stars and big names broke through to help give Chicago it’s most dominating game of the postseason.

But what about the Philadelphia Flyers? Captain Mike Richards, regular season MVP Chris Pronger, and key offensive weapon Jeff Carter were all big shooters all season long. And two of them have had big stretches this postseason. But what’s up with them now?

By Paul M. Banks

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