Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/09/12 at 02:09 PM ET
from Rob Oiler of the Columbus Dispatch,
Rick Nash is unhappy in Columbus, but during his nine seasons here, he always has acted professionally. Unless that changes — and it is possible; a prolonged holdout meant to force a trade would be a big shift in professional behavior — the CBJ’s best player will remain as such. He will perform on par with his skill, not his employment status.
But even if Nash’s professionalism goes south, so what? Negative locker-room issues often are overrated. Many examples exist in which teammates tore at each other behind the scenes but still excelled on the field. That is not to say disruption should be sought; the 2011 Boston Red Sox showed that dysfunction and drinking in the clubhouse don’t always mix.
Context counts. Bickering teammates is a different problem than players barking at management, which is different from a disgruntled star who complains about his predicament. The sport matters, too. Football seems to benefit/suffer more than most sports from good/bad chemistry.
But regardless of the shaky situation, a venomous atmosphere is not always a death knell to success.
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