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Columbus GM busy leading up to NHL draft

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is a busy man these days.

He's negotiating with unrestricted free agent defenseman Jan Hejda, is contemplating a buyout of veteran blue-liner Mike Commodore and is rumored to be talking with several teams about a major trade.

But the agent for the player at the center of most of the hottest speculation, Philadelphia Flyers' center Jeff Carter, vehemently denied on Wednesday that his client was ever discussed in trade talks between the teams. He said all the idle talk had deeply affected Carter and that the Flyers' top goal-scorer "is not going to Columbus."

Howson would not comment on Carter. He did say, however, that the club would be willing to trade its No. 8 draft pick for the right fit.

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Rusty Miller can be reached at http://twitter.com/rustymillerap