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Has Nash Had Enough Of Columbus?

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

Sportsnet has been running the HOCKEY CENTRAL Trade Tracker for a few weeks now in anticipation of the Feb. 27 deadline. It comes as no surprise that some of the players discussed will not be moved. And I think we’ve been pretty honest in saying that. But one player who just might be in the mix is Columbus Blue Jackets winger Rick Nash, who continually plays down the fact he will never ask for a trade.

I have received a couple of calls from friends of Nash, who claim that Rick is very unhappy with the way the franchise is going and realizes it will take five more years to rebuild, again. Nash is now telling people close to him that he would entertain being moved, but still will not be the one who asks for a trade.

Always one who didn’t aspire to play in a big market with big pressure, it appears Nash now realizes that he might have to step into the spotlight in order to win. It is a very tough situation for a very classy player.

Monday afternoon, Scott Howson was kind enough to reply to my inquiry with the following: “John, I am not commenting on any rumours between now and deadline.”

read on for more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Comments

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

If Columbus trades Nash they could get something in return to really help the franchise.  Of course, with their history of crap trades and signings I really wouldn’t expect it.  For Nash, he’s not the player to lead this team.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 02/06/12 at 10:38 PM ET

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If Columbus trades Nash they could get something in return to really help the franchise.  Of course, with their history of crap trades and signings I really wouldn’t expect it.

No way Nash gets moved before the offseason.  For one thing his salary is too big for most teams to be able to absorb unless Columbus takes a lot back and I don’t see why they’d want to do that.  In the offseason teams can go over the cap so a team can trade for Nash and then figure out how to clear the space afterwards.  Plus, not only is his salary a big one but he’s tied in long term so it’s a move that would have long term effects on whoever gets him.  Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, if you’re about to fire your GM do you really want him to be the guy who makes the biggest decision in the history of the franchise?  If I am the owner I definitely would not want that.  Let a new guy come in, figure out what they have (hint: nothing) and what they need (hint: everything) and be the guy to make the trade and get the prospects and picks he wants.  I think Columbus will end up moving Nash because it’s the only way they can rebuild the franchise but it won’t be happening now.

Posted by RoneFace on 02/06/12 at 10:56 PM ET

Primis's avatar

No way Nash gets moved before the offseason.  For one thing his salary is too big for most teams to be able to absorb unless Columbus takes a lot back

Posted by RoneFace on 02/06/12 at 07:56 PM ET

Actually no, that’s backwards.  As the season wears on his cap hit decreases, and it becomes more and more likely he’d fit under someone’s cap, especially when you consider if a team has someone on LTIR or not (since LTIR salaries don’t count against the cap).

If Nash is available I would be absolutely boggled if PIT didn’t do everything in their power to get him, especially with Crosby out.  Trade Staal and Neal maybe (selling high on Neal, he’s not their answer at wing still), and give Malkin someone to play with for now, and hope that it’s someone to play wing for Crosby then later.  Plus Nash could still live in CBS if he wanted even, it’s not that far away.

I also think DET would express legit interest and could give up a mix of current players and prospects.  I think TOR might, but don’t know that TOR has the actual assets to get him or anything at this point.

If Nash wants out, the time to move him would be now, not later.  There’s nothing to gain by keeping him, and honestly I think his value around the league has been starting to drop.  Again, sell high.

Posted by Primis on 02/07/12 at 11:43 AM ET

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As the season wears on his cap hit decreases, and it becomes more and more likely he’d fit under someone’s cap, especially when you consider if a team has someone on LTIR or not (since LTIR salaries don’t count against the cap).

Right, but we’re not talking about a looming free agent here: Nash is signed at a huge number for years.  Fitting a contract that size into the long term salary cap plans is no small thing.  I’m not going to go through every one of your examples but if you look at Pittsburgh can they really afford to pay Nash more than Staal without knowing for sure what the deal is with Crosby?  If Crosby never really comes back wouldn’t they rather have a cheaper C in Staal? 

I agree with you about selling high on Nash, and from that perspective the time is right, I’m just not sure the need is pressing enough to justify doing it now vs in the summer when more teams would be able to make a deal work.

Posted by RoneFace on 02/07/12 at 05:13 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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