Sharks eyeing Nash and Carter

Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash skates during the warmup prior to facing the Flames at the...

Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash skates during the warmup prior to facing the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alta., Dec. 13, 2010. (AL CHAREST/QMI Agency)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:52 PM ET

OTTAWA - The San Jose Sharks are trying to take a bite of the Columbus Blue Jackets before the deadline.

Not only is Sharks GM Doug Wilson talking to Jackets counterpart Scott Howson about disgruntled RW Rick Nash, league sources told the QMI Agency Wednesday San Jose is also studying a deal for C Jeff Carter.

Coming off a 6-3 loss to the Jackets Tuesday, sources say Wilson has discussed the possibility of making a major change before Monday’s deadline, but if he wants Nash, the Sharks are going to have to pay.

Sources say Howson’s asking price from every team in the Nash talks is non-negotiable (at the moment) and gigantic in nature: A

No. 1 pick in 2012 NHL entry draft pick; a good player off your roster (possibly Logan Couture or Joe Pavelski in San Jose’s case); plus the No. 1 prospect in the organization.

As for Carter, you’d have to take on his $5.2 million hit through the 2021-22 season. If that’s not enough, the Jackets want a No. 1 pick and wouldn’t mind if the team acquiring Carter took on more cash as well.

“We don’t talk about other team’s players, and any conversation I do have with a fellow GM would be kept in confidence,” Wilson said in Toronto Wednesday.

“Historically, though, one of the most important things we do is make this be a place where players do want to play, and make it an attractive destination for players.

The Sharks aren’t the only team in the Golden State trying to get Nash, or Carter for that matter. Kings GM Dean Lombardi, so desperate to make a move to save his job, has held talks with Howson on both players.

If the Kings want Nash, league sources say it could cost them either G Jonathan Bernier or D Jack Johnson, prospect C Tyler Toffoli (the Ottawa 67’s top scorer) and a No. 1 pick. No wonder no deal has been done.

AROUND THE BOARDS

Strike a big player from the shopping list after C Tuomo Ruutu, 29, elected to accepted a four-year deal with a cap hit of $4.75 million to remain with Carolina. “Players like Tuomo are extremely difficult to replace, and it is important for our franchise to keep him here,” said GM Jim Rutherford. “Along with the physical elements and skill level that he brings on the ice, Tuomo is a popular leader in our locker room. We’re happy he has committed to us.” The asking price on the trade market was considered high before Ruutu agreed: A No. 1 pick and a No. 1 prospect ... The Sabres could start unloading soon, but don’t expect G Ryan Miller to be dealt before the deadline. UFA C Paul Gaustad is going to get moved and there’s plenty of interest while C Derek Roy is getting attention.

THE MORNING SKATE

The Jackets did make one move Wednesday by sending C Antoine Vermette packing to the Phoenix in exchange for draft picks and G Curtis McElhinney. Vermette, 29, a speedy forward who has 8-19-27 points in 60 games, has three years left with a cap hit of $3.75 million. “He’s a Dave Tippett type of player,” said Phoenix GM Don Maloney. “He’s very good in the faceoff circle, he’s a good penalty killer and he can play on the power play. He’s having a down year offensively, but he’s the kind of player that will fit in like a glove with (Tippett). We’re happy. It makes us better.” ... Teams looking for veteran help are waiting to see what’s going to happen to Colorado RW Milan Hejduk. He has been shopped but the Avs haven’t decided whether they’re going to sell or not. Those interested in Anaheim RW Teemu Selanne have pretty much given up hope he’s going to waive his “no move” clause.

THIS N’ THAT

Caps RW Mike Knuble will have one eye on trade coverage until the deadline. GM George McPhee hasn’t decided whether he’s a buyer or seller, but Knuble is coveted by teams looking for veteran help such as the Rangers, Bruins, Wings and Hawks. “There’s been a lot of trade talk,” said Knuble, 3-9-12 points in 56 games. “I haven’t had a good season and I know it looks terrible on paper. We’ll see what happens. I guess I’ll be watching the next little bit, more on Monday.” ... Washington D Roman Hamrlik was a healthy scratch Wednesday in Ottawa. The Canucks are looking for a blueliner for the stretch drive along with St. Louis and may have interest.

THE FINAL BUZZER

Ruutu might not be the only one to sign before the deadline. Edmonton RW Ales Hemsky has held talks with the Oilers about a new multi-year deal but the Kings, Rangers, Bruins and Sharks all are in hot pursuit ... Confirm or deny: The Predators have held talks with the Jackets about Nash ... Detroit RW Todd Bertuzzi agreed to a two-year extension. Doubtful he would have been shopped ... The Canes haven’t had any talks with D Bryan Allen or D Jaroslav Spacek. So they’re still in play at the moment.


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