Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Color Johnson Gone

I know Chris has declared a moratorium on this never-ending story, but Luke DeCock is again out with a story about Jim Rutherford offering Jack Johnson to the right bidder. JR confirms again that he's shopping JJ, but with no sense of urgency. Ahhh, the makings of a great long term relationship.

Now if I'm in the Johnson camp, I read this as... We told the Hurricanes that junior was gonna stay at Michigan. JR has very publically gone hard-sell on us three times. Since June, the Hurricanes have made no bones about the fact that they are shopping our kid and their franchise blueliner. You can color Jack Johnson gone - and as soon as practicable (a term from my naval aviation days - not quite as urgent as "as soon as possible"). But make no mistake, the bridge has been torched.

In the article, Luke states:

....he (JR) now expects either a highly rated defensive prospect or established young
NHL defenseman of considerable ability in return.
So who would be willing to give up top young NHL-ready-now talent in exhange for a kid who won't even provide a clue as to when he might make the transition from college to the NHL? Who has talent in the wings or starting right now that they might be willing to part with in exchange for a Jack Johnson down the line...maybe way down the line?

Nashville's got a pretty solid existing defensive corps and system depth. Both Ryan Suter and Shea Weber are at about the same stage of development and they've got three other future NHL prospects in the pipeline. However, neither Suter or Weber are Jack Johnson.

Atlanta's got at least eight NHL caliber defensemen in the fold, system depth, and their top prospect, Braydon Coburn, sitting on the outside looking in. His stock has dropped since he was drafted as the 8th pick in 2003. He's definitely no Jack Johnson.

Chicago's got young studs in Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith in place and youngster Cam Barker (3rd pick in '04) on the outside trying to crack the lineup. To me, the only prospect-age guy worth a deal is maybe Barker.

Boston also has depth at defense with a very physical and mature Mark Stuart who is ready for prime time. Stuart however has little offensive upside.

Not hearing Jordan Staal's name much anymore, but you do hear Marc Staal's name bantered about. The Rangers don't have much in the way of young blueliners beyond Staal, so a deal for the other Staal doesn't seem likely. However, the Canes also have depth in goal to offer as part of a package. Chicago has "a glaring weakness" in this area (according to, as do the Rangers, who are apparently willing to part with their only system goalie of note, Al Montoya (according to Spector).


Bubba said...

I agree with you, interesting read.

nuts4pucks said...

All I can say, is "What is JR thinking?" The prospect of this makes me sick. What a waste of a top draft pick.

CasonBlog said...

Agree Nuts. It just seems uncharacteristic for JR to go this way. He usually keeps things close to the vest, but he's been bitching like a jilted teenager about JJ since last spring. The Johnson PR machine sure seems a lot slicker than the Hurricanes right about now.

The Acid Queen said...

I call "maskirovka" on this one. For some reason, it just doesn't feel right.

Chris said...

As loathe as I am to add to this story... One of my hockey teammates went to the second lunch with JR. Evidently, JJ's father is a bit of a nutcase. JR invited JJ to dinner while he was up in the Michigan area. JJ's father waited the entire time in the car. When JR found out, he asked why he didn't come in and have dinner. JJ could only shrug. Take that for what it's worth...

CasonBlog said...

Didn't somebody post a video of Johnson's pop doing the lambata in the stands at a Michigan hockey game last year? Cuckoo-dad might explain some things.