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July 14, 2012 | 11:49am ET
Nash talks ongoing, Murray could sign soon

The Blue Jackets continue their attempts at trading captain Rick Nash, but the Columbus Dispatch reports talks have slowed down this past week.

Nash is expected to be traded before the start of the 2012-13 season, but Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson remains in no rush to pull the trigger.

"There are no deadlines," Howson told the Dispatch.

The San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins remain in the hunt for Nash, as they're the only six teams he's willing to accept a trade to.

It's believed San Jose's Joe Pavelski, the Rangers' Derek Stepan and Boston's David Krejci are the main elements of their team's respective offers -- despite reports suggesting otherwise, TFP has learned that Stepan has in fact been included in New York's talks with Columbus -- while it's unclear what the centerpiece of Philadelphia, Detroit and Pittsburgh's offers is.

Howson told TSN last night that he's interested in upgrading his team up front, should be move Nash.

"If we do complete a trade, we're trading out a 30 to 40 goal scorer," said Howson. "Defense is probably the strongest part of our team if we look at it today, so we're looking to get some NHL forwards back first and foremost."

Nash, 28, has a no-movement clause and must approve any deal the Blue Jackets try to make.

Signed through the 2014-15 season with an annual salary cap hit of $7.8 million, Nash registered 30 goals and 29 assists for 59 points in 82 games with Columbus this past season.

Meanwhile, the Dispatch also reports that the Blue Jackets have started contract negotiations with Ryan Murray.

Murray, 18, was drafted second-overall by the Blue Jackets in last month's NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.

The paper doesn't expect negotiations to go on for an extended period of time, as Murray could sign in the near future.

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