Keep an eye on Nash, Ryan and Jordan Staal

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 22, 2012 - 1:27 AM
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Penguins center Jordan Staal shot on Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson.

Photo: Chris O'Meara, Associated Press

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PITTSBURGH - The NHL draft often presents the possibility of the oh-so popular blockbuster. This year is no different.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are attempting to trade disgruntled captain Rick Nash, the Anaheim Ducks are shopping young goal scorer Bobby Ryan, and Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal has rejected a 10-year contract extension, meaning he could be dealt.

While the Wild is not involved in trade talks for Nash, General Manager Chuck Fletcher probably has interest in both Ryan and Staal.

Ryan, 25, is a four-time 30-goal scorer taken one spot after Sidney Crosby in the 2005 draft. Former Ducks GM Brian Burke once said, "When he was on our staff in Anaheim, Chuck Fletcher is the guy that pushed hardest for Bobby Ryan, not me."

Staal apparently doesn't want to spend his entire career trapped behind centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Wild coach Mike Yeo has a lot of admiration for Staal from his days as Pittsburgh's assistant, while Fletcher is also a former Penguins assistant GM.

Because Staal can become a free agent next summer, the only way the Wild would be willing to trade for the 23-year-old is if it knew he would be willing to sign an extension. He is not willing to do that, according to a source close to the situation -- with the possible exception of being traded to Carolina, where his brother, Eric, is team captain.

A potential match for Ryan could be Philadelphia, which is shopping James van Riemsdyk. Ryan grew up around Philadelphia and is very close to Flyers executive Bobby Clarke, a Flyers hero in the 1970s.

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is sticking to his guns and demanding four top assets for Nash, but many of the teams interested in Nash are interested in Ryan, who is younger and cheaper. The Rangers, Philadelphia, Ottawa, San Jose, Carolina and Toronto are hot after Nash, who must approve any trade.

Howson said Thursday he was no closer to trading Nash than he was at the trade deadline.

Schedule released

The Wild's 2012-13 schedule was announced Thursday. It opens at home Oct. 13 against Colorado, plays every team in the Eastern Conference -- including two games against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Islanders -- and plays host to Edmonton on New Year's Eve.

The most treacherous part comes Nov. 3-Dec. 12 when the Wild plays 15 of 19 on the road, including two six-game road trips. That is followed by a seven-game homestand.

Of course, an NHL lockout might change everything.

Etc.

• Wild assistant to the GM Jim Mill met with the agents of potential unrestricted free agents Matt Kassian and Stephane Veilleux. The Wild would prefer to sign both to two-way deals, meaning they would make significantly lower salaries if sent to the minors. But both are pushing for one-way contracts.

• Wild winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who missed the final three-plus months because of a concussion, has started to train and fully anticipates being ready for the start of next season.

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Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 80 4th Qtr 10:11
Cleveland 88
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 33 2nd Half 11:49
Illinois State 42
Louisville 50 2nd Half 11:3
Pittsburgh 37
UMBC 15 1st Half 3:04
Albany 31
Niagara 10 1st Half 11:29
Iona 17
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
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Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
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Alabama 52
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Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
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Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 47 2nd Half 15:28
Washington St 38
Tulane 35 2nd Half 10:30
South Florida 53
(14) Kentucky 48 2nd Half 14:41
Missouri 46
(9) Oregon State 49 2nd Half 12:20
(13) Arizona State 30
Vermont 31 2nd Half
UMass Lowell 37
Iowa State 29 2nd Half
(8) Texas 36
Southern Ill 20 1st Half 3:50
Wichita State 39
(15) Duke 11 1st Half 11:47
(12) North Carolina 9
Miami-Florida 15 1st Half 11:48
(4) Louisville 8
(21) Minnesota 0 1st Half 20:00
(25) Rutgers 0
California 6:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC

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