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One Year Without Rick Nash

from Aaron Portzline of hte Columbus Dispatch,

When the trade went down, Howson and the Blue Jackets were blistered by many in the national hockey media.

“This is a disaster for the CBJ,” said former Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean, who now works for Canadian TV network Sportsnet.

ESPN’s Barry Melrose said, “I don’t think that’s enough (in return).”

TSN’s Aaron Ward said, “I feel bad for Columbus.”

Clearly, the Blue Jackets gave up the best player in the trade. Nash is a perennial All-Star, an Olympic gold medal winner, etc.

But the trade had a transformative effect on the Blue Jackets, both on the ice and in the room. Dubinsky and Anisimov helped set the tone for what became a much faster, hard-working team.

“It gave us depth,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. “We went into the season knowing our strength was our defense, but with Arty and Brandon being able to play so well down the middle, it really stabilized our lineup, gave us more competitive lines, and we used those guys in just about every aspect of the game.”

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

Comments

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I read the article. What it says, from both coaches, is what I was telling people for years here in Columbus. Nash was the problem. He was lazy and unmotivated. I think there were a lot of people here who didn’t want to hear that Nash was part of the problem. Now, I would say there was no denying it. He’s just not a hard enough worker.

Posted by teldar on 07/23/13 at 06:47 AM ET

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Posted by teldar on 07/23/13 at 07:47 AM ET

You’re pretty good at reading a lot into quotes.

Posted by Garth on 07/23/13 at 08:21 AM ET

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I do think it was a positive they moved on, but I’m not sure I buy into the idea that Nash was the reason for the franchise’s failures. Hell, without him perhaps they’d be even worse, because who else was going to score all those goals?

However, they needed a fresh start and Nash was too connected to the losing, pre-JD era.

Posted by Chris M on 07/23/13 at 08:29 AM ET

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Nash is over rated. He was the creation of the media hype machine. CBJ is much better off without him.

Posted by timbits on 07/23/13 at 09:13 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

The only thing that made that team successful was Bobrovsky’s Vezina level goaltending, and they still didn’t make the playoffs.  Maybe a full year with Gaborik and Horton can change that, but I’m not sure how you keep a lot of depth on your team with the kind of money they have tied up in those 3 players, not to mention Wisniewski’s contract, and they still don’t have a legitimate first line center.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/23/13 at 09:46 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Ah yes; the winger that needed a center to be successful. Have fun with that, Glen.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/23/13 at 10:07 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

You know, I don’t remember Bobo “stealing” any games from Detroit, but Cbus took 9 out of 10 points possible last season.  Columbus is a BIG, now fast, blue-collar team.  Remind me A LOT of the Bruins from 08.

And Teldar, I’m with you.  I’d been saying the same thing to my die-hard jackets buddy.  With all the local reports of the “core’s” shennanigens, late night drinking in the Arena district before game days, issues with fitness, I’m surprised more fans weren’t clamoring FOR him to be moved.  Could you imagine Z and Howard out tearing it up, showing up for the season fat?  NO ONE would be surprised if we lost with players like that, yet that never clicked here in Cbus, it was hilarious.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/23/13 at 12:07 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

You know, I don’t remember Bobo “stealing” any games from Detroit, but Cbus took 9 out of 10 points possible last season.  Columbus is a BIG, now fast, blue-collar team.  Remind me A LOT of the Bruins from 08.

They scored 2.5 gpg in 11-12 and 12-13

They gave up 3.20 gpg in 11-12, but only 2.48 gpg in 12-13

The only significant defensive position they added was Bob at goal, and he was the best player at his position in the league.

Also, when Mason started over Bob, CBS went 3-6.

So I would say that Bobrovsky was by far the deciding factor in any success they had last season, which really wasn’t much other than taking the season series against the Wings.

What I will agree on is that Nash is highly overrated, and had clearly become an anchor around that team’s neck.  But he was still the best player in that deal, unless Erixxon becomes something special down the road.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/23/13 at 02:38 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I’m not debating good goaltending is a must to actually win games.  That’s pretty basic.  What I"m saying is while they have got that out of Bobo, they’ve also been improving the culture and the pace of their game.  The Oilers still haven’t been able to shed theirs. 

Along with Bobo coming in, they also shored up down the middle.  Also signficant moves I’d say, TBH.  You don’t win without being strong down the middle.  So they did that as well.  You also look at the aquisitions of Jack Johnson along with Wiz.

I’d be more inclined to say that Mason is an excpetionally bad goaltender rather than Columbus is a bad team with agreat goaltender. 

And they’re on the rise.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/23/13 at 03:02 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

and Jack Johnson was a significant defensive move as well, getting a top pair D is usually significant.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/23/13 at 03:03 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Not if they’re as bad defensively as Jack Johnson.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/23/13 at 04:32 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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