Rick Nash doesn’t want to wait until the summer for a trade.
In a conversation with TSN colleague Bob McKenzie on Saturday, Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick, spoke out for the first time since the Blue Jackets put Nash on the trade block.
"We’re hopeful that a deal can get done prior to the trade deadline that is fair and equitable for the Columbus Blue Jackets," Resnick said. "However, if a deal is not reached, then the list of acceptable teams will not change at a later date."
There’s been talk the Jackets, unless they get the price they’re asking for before Monday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline, will wait until the summer to get a deal done when more teams would be able to get into the picture and bid on him.
However, Nash has a no-movement clause and can veto any trade. He gave the Jackets a short list of teams he’d be willing to move to before Monday’s deadline, and Resnick is saying that list won’t change this summer.
Wolski getting second chance -- Again
We stopped in at the New York Rangers training camp in September and chatted with Wojtek Wolski, who was excited at the prospect of resurrecting his career possibly playing alongside Marian Gaborik and free-agent acquisition Brad Richards.
But almost immediately, Wolski, the 21st overall pick in 2004, discovered he had a groin problem and his season went downhill from there. He appeared in just nine games for the Rangers this season and six games for the Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Hartford during a conditioning stint.
After a stretch of being a healthy scratch for the Rangers, Wolski was dealt on Saturday to the Florida Panthers, where he will once again get a chance to revitalize a career that now sees him with his third team in 13 months and fourth overall.
“Wojtek’s very, very happy. He’s ecstatic,” his agent, Joe Resnick, told ESPN.com on Saturday. “He had surgery to repair [the groin] and he’s 100 percent healthy. But he’s a top-six forward. There’s a huge motivation factor. There’s personal pride for sure."
Florida GM Dale Tallon gave up minor league defenseman Mike Vernace and a third-round pick in 2013 and hopes Wolski can provide offensive pop for a team that remains very much in the hunt for the Southeast Division title and its first playoff appearance since 2000 in spite of a spate of injuries to forwards.
“We need to get some skill and some offense in our lineup if we’re going to win some games,” Tallon told ESPN.com.
On Friday, the Panthers acquired a defensive forward in Jerred Smithson from Nashville (for a sixth-round pick), someone who will help on faceoffs and the penalty kill.
“Now we’ve got someone who can help us with our power play and on shootouts,” Tallon said.
Brown in the middle
One might imagine that the acquisition of sniper Jeff Carter by the Los Angeles Kings would calm the waters in L.A. But the deal has had just the opposite effect, as immediately after the deal with Columbus was announced Thursday night, multiple sources reported that the Kings were looking to move captain Dustin Brown.
By Friday, however, it appeared as though Kings GM Dean Lombardi had had a change of heart and GMs around the NHL were reporting that Brown was no longer on the market.
That teams would be interested in the gritty Brown isn’t the issue. There was immediately a lineup of teams interested in inquiring about what it would take to acquire the former U.S. Olympian. Brown would have been a nice fit in Toronto, Boston, Nashville and the New York Rangers, pending the Rangers’ efforts to acquire Columbus captain Rick Nash.
But if Brown is off the market, it begs the question of how he can remain a King at all, let alone remain as captain. Multiple sources told ESPN.com they believe that whether Brown remains with the team or not, the plan is to make Mike Richards the next captain of the Kings.
Richards, acquired by L.A. in June 2011, was the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers at the time of the trade.
Brown, an understated sort who epitomizes leading by example, had not been approached by Lombardi about the situation Saturday and remains uncertain what lies ahead for him.
“It’s frustrating for Dustin,” his agent, Scott Norton, told ESPN.com on Saturday.
“He’s got a young family. L.A.’s been the only place he’s known. He wants to know what’s going on.”
Brown, 27, was the 13th overall pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2003. There are certain parallels to the Nash situation in that having broached the subject of trading the face of the franchise, the Blue Jackets must get a deal done to move Nash whether it’s before Monday’s trade deadline or during the offseason.
The same dynamic exists now with Brown, with the main difference being that Brown does not control his own destiny via a no-trade or no-movement clause. Regardless, it’s still hard to imagine how Brown can stay with the team moving forward given the events of the past couple of days.
Norton said Brown, who has three children under the age of 4, still wants to win in Los Angeles, but if that’s not to be, then he’ll give his heart to a new team.
Selanne staying put
It should be clear just by looking at the standings, but given the continued speculation on Teemu Selanne, I reached out to Ducks GM Bob Murray and he reiterated what he's told me all season long.
"For the last time, Teemu is not going anywhere," Murray told ESPN.com on Saturday.
Selanne, a UFA July 1, has been the subject of trade speculation. San Jose, Vancouver, Boston and Detroit are just some of the contenders that would have loved to have gotten their hands on him.
But it's not going to happen. Period. Let's all move on.