From Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch:
There is no reason to believe that the Jackets won’t be right in the middle of the bidding war. And Howson has made it known that he’s ready to overpay for a free agent he wants and needs. If Malone is Howson’s guy — and I suspect that is the case — then Malone might be looking at an offer from the Jackets worth something in the range of $6 million annually.
How’s this for a line: Umberger between Rick Nash and Malone. Wouldn’t that be a daunting mix? Malone will have to think about that, and think about Columbus, which is three hours from his hometown. He said he’s open to the proposition. And this isn’t news: Money talks come July 1.
Read Arace’s entire article here.
That would be a massive top line for the Jackets. All three of those guys are sure tough to move off the puck. It will be interesting to see what type of deal Malone agrees to on the free agent market and how many teams give him serious offers. It sounds like a lot of teams have their eyes on him.