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As the trade deadline was quickly approaching, no one was on the phone more than GM Scott Howson. Everyone in the league knew that Howson was in the market for an offensive-minded defenseman and a skilled center to take some of the weight off of Rick Nash's shoulders.
Names such as Buffalo's Tim Connolly and Colorado's John Michael-Liles had been brought up as potential new Jackets.
On the day of the deadline, the only other team in pursuit of Liles, the Toronto Maple Leafs, dropped out of the chase, which would make one think that Howson had it in the bag.
The end of the deadline passed, Liles and Connolly were still in their respective cities and the Jackets were still in need of help.
Howson did trade an injured Rostislav Klesla to Phoenix for winger Scottie Upshall and defenseman Sami Lepisto, but that was not going to put the Jackets over the playoff bar.
I am not saying that either of these players are bad. I am a huge fan of Scottie Upshall and feel that he should be one of the first free agents re-signed at years end.
But Howson had said over and over before the deadline that he was looking to make a "blockbuster" deal, and he was not able to.
He said that he did not want to break up the chemistry that had been built over the Jackets' hot streak, and I can understand that. But there was plenty out there that could have helped that chemistry, and Howson did not want to give up what was being asked for in return.
He had stated that he was willing to part with the Blue Jackets' first round pick in the upcoming draft, but was he really?
All I know is, at season's end, Howson will have an opportunity to acquire some of the players he should had acquired during the season for less of the cost, but my bet is he will just re-sign our free agents and we will be having this same discussion next season.