Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/19/12 at 10:22 AM ET
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
When Dave King spoke of the Blue Jackets’ future in 2000-01, during the team’s first season, I remember thinking how unfortunate it was that he wouldn’t be around for it. It was clear that he knew his stuff, and just as clear that he couldn’t possibly coach an NHL expansion team to enough success to keep from eventually getting fired….
We know now that the bright future King was destined to miss never happened. Only one true star was actually on the team’s horizon — Rick Nash — and NHL markets elsewhere got all of the other young hockey studs. In 2012, Nash is the only real stability that Columbus’ NHL franchise has ever had, and all signs point to him being traded either this week or shortly after the free-agent market opens on July 1, a response to a trade request he made in January.
The absurdity of this has remained with most of us like a bad case of indigestion. How it is that the only near-certainty for a team that finished with the worst record in the NHL is that it soon will trade its best player? Are the Farrelly Brothers doing a movie about this?
The worst team in the league didn’t shed any of the men who created the mess that Nash wants to escape, decided to stay the course by hiring its interim coach from last season, and might even leave goaltender Steve Mason on the roster as a backup, even though he probably could use a change of scenery more than any player in the history of hockey. But seriously, the management team that fired future Hall of Fame coach Ken Hitchcock and hired Scott Arniel instead of Kevin Dineen is the one weighing offers for Nash?
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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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