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Jackets ‘not sure’ about making offer to leading scorer Prospal

Jul 10, 2013, 3:48 PM EDT

vinnyprospalgetty Getty Images

You’d think that, after a solid 2013 campaign, the Columbus Blue Jackets would want to bring Vinny Prospal back.

Well, think again.

The 38-year-old — who led the club in scoring last year — has stated his desire to return, but the Jackets seemingly don’t have as much of an interest.

“Are we going to extend him an offer? We’re not sure we want to do that yet,” GM Jarmo Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch. “We want to give him the proper respect if we do — and he may not even want to do it.

“We always like to keep our options open, but I’d say right now we’ll stand pat unless we make an offer to Vinny.”

Prospal paced all Jackets scorers with 30 points last season, averaging over 16 minutes a game while tying for the team lead in power-play goals.

He played on a one-year, $2.5 million deal — just like he did the year prior, when he finished second in the team in scoring and led all skaters in assists, with 39.

In late June, he re-iterated his desire to stay in Ohio.

“I want the public and the fans to know I’m not shutting the door on anything,” Prospal told the Columbus Dispatch. “I want to come back. I want to be part of this team, especially after the way we played after the start. We’ve really turned a corner and I can see where this is going.

“It’s going to be good here.”

The issue, it would seem, is Columbus’ financial picture.

The Jackets are a spend-to-the-cap team, evident by last season’s acquisition of Marian Gaborik (and his $7.5 million price tag) and this summer’s signing of Nathan Horton (seven years, $37.1 million) and Sergei Bobrovsky (two years, $11.25 million).

As a result, the Jackets now have 23 players under contract and just over $2 million in available cap space.

  1. jpelle82 - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    if he wants to come back so bad he will take 1.5 for 1 year to stay. make it work, i love his goal celebrations

  2. LampyB - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Or the team should make room for a guy with 30 pts. Gaborik only had 27 pts last season, yet makes $7M+ compared to Prospals measly $2.5M. It would be stupid not to make room for a guy that doesnt cost a lot but pulls in a team leading 30 pts.

  3. DED - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    How can they not sign him? He’s been one of their best players since joining the club. Put him on a line with Gaborik and see if they can re-kindle that magic they had back in 2009-10.

  4. polegojim - Jul 10, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Naw… they should just let him come to Detroit. ; )

  5. genevaohman52 - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    the new GM is pulling another scott howsom you do not let your leading scorer sit
    and wait whether or not you are going to resign him or not even a damn 3 yr old knows that. if something fits keep with it

  6. jady41 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    The way I see it, resigning Vinny all hinges on what they do with Gaborik. I love Vinny’s passion while playing the game and I recall him being the only one having legs in one specific game when all the youngin’s didn’t, but he is 38 and age DOES make a huge difference in your play.

    And no way in hell is Jarmo ANYTHING like Howson! Howson demonstrated time and time his inconsistencies in trades and drafting. Jarmo has been solid and with JD looking over your shoulder, he will never be making decisions alone.

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