Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline has come and gone. The biggest name on the market this year was Rick Nash. Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson decided to keep his franchise player, and the captain will be in the lineup tonight against the Red Wings.
During a news conference after the deadline, Howson revealed Nash requested a trade in mid- to late January. It had previously been thought the Jackets went to Nash and asked for a list of teams he would waive his no-trade clause for.
Is that throwing your star player under the bus? Maybe. But if the guy wanted out, it’s good for the fans to know it was his idea.
Even with all of that drama, Howson didn’t get the deal he was looking for, and Nash will remain in Columbus for the rest of the season. This upcoming offseason, however, the magnitude of the trade offers will increase and we could see a blockbuster deal put together.
I think that would be awful for the city of Columbus, especially with next year’s All-Star festivities being held at Nationwide Arena. It would be Nash’s weekend, just like Carolina’s Eric Staal and Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson had the past two years. It’s a chance for the best players the NHL has to offer to come to Columbus and be overshadowed by the hometown love for Nash. Without him, will the Jackets even have an all-star? Whoever they select with their top pick should be a rookie representative. Besides that, I would say no. And even if someone like R.J. Umberger, Ryan Johansen or James Wisniewski is having a spectacular first half of the season, there won’t be that star power in being the main attraction from the host city.
I’m all for Howson trying to do anything in his power to try to get the team going in the right direction. Hockey isn’t a sport where having a superstar is huge advantage like it is in basketball. I don’t think anyone on the Bruins’ Cup-winning team last year had a real superstar. They had a bunch of great pieces and a red-hot goalie.
The Jackets do have some good young players. Picking up three or four good pieces by moving Nash this offseason could help the team on the ice, but it would still be a huge blow to the morale of the fan base.
If the price is right, I say trade him. If not, don’t move him just to do it. Keep him, and try to keep building around him. Starting with a goalie, please.