The Rick Nash Trade Saga Continues

March 23, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Rick Nash (61) lines up for a face off in the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Nationwide Arena. Columbus won the game 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

Rick Nash’s tenure in Columbus has had its ups and downs for sure.  Some years, the team captain looks like one of the best players in hockey, leading a young team to contention in a crowded Western Conference.  Other years, he can’t seem to light a fire under a disappointing club, and Columbus finishes near the bottom of the pack.  Nash’s latest season with the Blue Jackets was very much the latter.  In fact, this year has been the lowest year in a career of many lows for Nash.  His point total was the lowest since his second NHL season, the Blue Jackets had one of the worst seasons of any team in recent memory, and he was on the trading block almost since the start of that season.

Even that has been a long, drawn-out process.  From the Blue Jackets’ 2-12-1 start, Nash’s name has come up in many different trade scenarios.  The chatter really picked up as the trade deadline approached.  Almost every good team, from the Rangers to the Sharks to the Bruins to the Red Wings, were connected with Nash at the deadline.

But as it turns out, the package that Columbus wanted in return was too large for any club to match: Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson was looking for two elite prospects and two solid regulars in return.  Only the Rangers offered anything close, and they were quickly rejected by the Blue Jackets brass.  And as it turns out, it was revealed later that Nash asked to dealt from the club, which only built up the separation between the Blue Jackets and their captain.  Nash was accused of being a quitter by the fans, and his captaincy was nearly stripped.  The chaos off the ice, didn’t help anybody in Columbus’ play on the ice, and the Blue Jackets easily coasted to the league’s worst record.

But things in Columbus haven’t changed at all since the end of the year.  There are still not enough pieces in place, and Nash still doesn’t want to be in town.  Ergo, the trade chatter has started up again.  And based on the Blue Jackets’ demands, things are very similar to the way they were at the trade deadline.

It is being reported by Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that the Blue Jackets are looking for the same objects as before: two big time prospects and two good regulars.  Some would scoff at that price, considering try were unsuccessful at dealing Nash before.  But according to NHL.com now, a possible deal is nothing to scoff at. It is now being reported that ten teams have displayed interest in Rick Nash, up from seven.  Whether anybody is willing to pay the high price for his services remains to be seen, however. But at least this is good news for Nash and the Blue Jackets, since both are looking for a fresh start.

But in case you were wondering, I doubt Dale Tallon and the Panthers would consider making a run at acquiring the forward.  After all, ours is a team that is preparing for the future, not gambling it away.   Rick Nash is considered a safe bet, since he plays both sides of the puck well and has a great scoring touch.  However, one team is going to have to pay a lot to get him.  Whether or not the Panthers are ready to make that move, we in the hockey world are ready for this situation to resolve itself after months of waiting.

Thanks for reading!  Comment please!

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