On the Columbus Blue Jackets …
Defenseman Ryan Murray is back practicing, and if he’s able to return to the lineup, it might be easier for them to move Jack Johnson. Johnson asked for a trade last month. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks are believed to be looking for a defenseman.
There are some reports that the Blue Jackets might be able to get a late first-round pick for him. What about moving Johnson for another pending free agent? Maybe to the Maple Leafs who have too many forwards.
Getting a first-round pick for Johnson doesn’t help them this year.
On the Montreal Canadiens …
The Canadiens don’t return back to Montreal until February 21st, five days ahead of the trade deadline.
There is also a chance that the both Pacioretty and Plekanec remain with the Canadiens for the rest of the season, possibly beyond that.
Both players have had their name in the rumor mill since November.
“From my end of it, we’re all pros and I’ve said that before,” said Canadiens coach Claude Julien. “Whether you’re a coach or whether you’re a player, there’s times where that kind of comes along the way, so you have to be able to manage it in a way where you focus on what you can control. And as far as a player is concerned, he’s got to focus on controlling his game and doing everything he can because the other part he has absolutely no control on. So I think it’s to their benefit to really focus on that because a lot of times they stress out and then at times the trade deadline goes by and nothing happens, so they wasted a lot of time stressing out.
“So if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. Very seldom have I seen a player go from one place to another and say, ‘Oh, this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.’ Everybody adapts to where they are and they find ways to make themselves happy and proud to be playing for that team.”