Rick Nash not for sale

Although the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to work the phones looking for a netminder, one name that is not involved in their talks is that of captain Rick Nash.

“Not once have I ever brought up his name,” Jackets GM Scott Howson told ESPN.com Thursday.

Sure, other teams have obviously inquired about Nash, but Howson has quickly closed that down.

For his part, Nash hasn’t asked to get out, either.

“Rick has never asked for a trade, contrary to what has been reported,” his agent Joe Resnick told ESPN.com on Thursday. “Rick is focused on trying to turn things around in Columbus and help the team get some wins.”

Toronto’s Goalie Search

With James Reimer still out and not clear exactly when he’ll be able to return, the Toronto Maple Leafs are scouring the market to see what’s out there in terms of a goalie.

“We’re seeing what’s available and seeing what the price tag is,” GM Brian Burke told ESPN.com on Thursday afternoon. “Obviously nothing has tickled our fancy yet.”

Reimer remains saddled with concussion-like symptoms.

“He’s been day-to-day for three weeks, so at some point we have to get a goaltender in here to bridge the gap until he’s healthy,” Burke said.

Stars’ Injuries

Suddenly, the surprising Dallas Stars are getting stung by injuries. Gritty winger Adam Burish is expected to be out four to six weeks with a broken hand and top defenseman Alex Goligoski is expected to be out at least four weeks after suffering a broken thumb in last Friday’s 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh.

Now we see about that depth the Stars addressed in the offseason when they added six players on July 1. The hope and belief was that the newfound depth would help the team survive when the injury bug came unlike last season.

“Exactly,” Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com Thursday. “That’s why we got those guys. We’ll have to weather the storm. Goligoski is a tough one, and Burish is a real character guy for us. But teams have injuries have to find a way to deal with it.”

In the meantime, Nieuwendyk is keeping an ear out on the trade market just in case anything appealing comes his way.

“We’re always looking what’s out there,” Nieuwendyk said.

Ovechkin’s Production

Alex Ovechkin entered Thursday night’s game at Winnipeg with 14 points (7-7) in 16 games -- which was good for 46th in league scoring.

Not exactly where we’re is accustomed to seeing the Russian superstar.

Could he be playing a bit better? Yes. But the Washington Capitals will tell you they’re not concerned because this is the most balanced attack they’ve had in years. They’ve rolled four forward lines all season long -- and that certainly wasn’t the case in years past. Gone are the days where they had to rely only on Ovechkin to do it all and to play ridiculous minutes.

His production is down also because the team is playing a more structured, disciplined game. He can’t play rover anymore in this system. It’s about winning hockey games.

“There’s nothing wrong with him,” Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau told ESPN.com on Thursday. “The most important thing to him is winning. He’s won the Hart Trophy; he’s won the Rocket Richard Trophy; he’s won a lot of trophies. Now he just wants to win, and if that means playing four lines to be a better team, he’s OK with that.”

Interesting to note, actually, that there wasn’t a single Russian hockey player in the top 30 NHL scoring as of Thursday afternoon. In part that’s because Evgeni Malkin (14 points) has only played 11 games.

We’re counting on Ovechkin catching fire at some point soon, but his fans must also realize the Caps are a different team now. They’re hoping to be better built for the playoffs by relying less on one player or one line.

We’ll know next spring is that’s finally true.

Suter’s Contract Talks

Contract talks between Ryan Suter’s agent, Neil Sheehy, and the Nashville Predators took place Wednesday and Thursday but there is still work to be done.

“It’s ongoing; there won’t be a deal while I’m here in town,” Sheehy told ESPN.com Thursday afternoon. “We’re continuing to talk, and that’s about all I can say at this point.”

Sheehy was slated to return home Friday morning. Suter is slated to be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

There was speculation a deal could be signed this week with Sheehy in town, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

“We both have things to talk about so we’ll continue to work on it,” Sheehy said. “No deal is imminent right now.”