Rick Nash Trade Deadline Aftermath

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By Dave Cunning

So the 2012 NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and what have we learned? Probably most significantly that while Rick Nash remains a member (and captain) of the Columbus Blue Jackets, he sure doesn’t want to be anymore.


Bet_On_Hockey_Nash_Blue_Jackets_Jersey.jpgThis situation is a complete and utter meltdown on a number of levels. Perhaps most significantly that Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson decided to chuck Nash right under the bus when he revealed to the public that is was Nash himself that requested the trade in January. And for what reason? The only moderately reasonable line of logic would be for Howson to try to save face and keep his job as GM – but I think having the team continually finish at or near the bottom of the league every year and not qualify for the playoffs is working far harder against him than this move is helping him.

Now you have the operator of the team publicly outing the leader of his players, and trying to paint his club’s captain as the bad guy to both the Columbus fans and his teammates. How exactly is Nash supposed to be the leader of this franchise now? Besides, of course, by currently leading them in goals, total points, power play goals, shots, and games played -- as well as holding the franchise’s all-time records in goals, assists, points, single-season goals, points, game-winning goals, points by a rookie, and winning the Rocket Richard Trophy over nearly a decade that he’s been a member of Columbus. The guy that signed an eight year contract extension with a Bet_On_Hockey_Scott_Howson_Blue_Jackets.jpgno movement clause -- this is the guy that Howson thinks is appropriate to bury? For a guy that Howson tried to sell at a price so high no one was willing to buy, Nash probably seems even less valuable to prospective teams that may have been interested in his services, now that he’s been ratted on for not being quite the team player they thought he was.

Nash’s damage control (http://bit.ly/w6XByJ) was to state that his trade request was in line with what Columbus brass had described to him as yet another rebuild – offering himself as a bargaining chip to bring in multiple valuable assets, and stop Columbus from being a perennial cellar-dweller of a team. He also did his best to uphold his good Canadian boy image, saying he’ll continue to play his heart out for the team and the fans, and that he’ll continue to wear his jersey with pride.

Come on now, there isn’t going to be a more awkward place on the planet for Rick Nash than in the Columbus Blue Jackets dressing room over the remainder of the season. And you know if Nash has the chance, he might just “accidently” deflect a shot towards the owners box. He keeps saying all the right things like he probably should, but you’ve got to think Nash’s internal monologue has got to sound a lot different than what we hear him say into the media’s microphones.

Bet_On_Hockey_Free_Rick_Nash_Shirt.jpgBut can anyone really blame Rick Nash for wanting out? This team is an annual failure in the standings, and has lost millions of dollars as a franchise over the last number of years (http://bit.ly/s1AijZ), their major acquisitions of Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski to try and stimulate the team’s success have been absolute busts – and if Nash looks at himself honestly and realizes the talent he has and what he’s capable of (as proven on the international stage), he knows that he’s getting older, and his hopes of ever winning a championship in the NHL are dying a slow, agonizing death while playing in Columbus. Through it all though, Nash has never once uttered a discouraging word about his team. At this point, I can’t blame the guy for wanting to play for a better team, can you? Every young hockey player dreams of winning the Stanley Cup, and Nash surely knows by now that dream is never going to come true for him while he’s playing where he is. Now they’re going to make him suffer until at least the summer before there’s any further hope of freedom.    

One bit of good news from this whole situation is that there’s still time for you to join the FREE RICK NASH campaign – click the link to purchase your t-shirt of support for the liberation of Rick Nash from Columbus! http://bit.ly/xpOOYh

Read Dave’s blog at http://davecunning.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter @davecunning



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