It's not as if Nash is slated to become an unrestricted free agent come July 1st. Instead, it's quite the contrary—Nash has six years left on his current contract.
While it's believed that the Nash camp would have preferred a trade prior to the NHL trade deadline, as a general manager, it is your job to do what's best for the franchise, not what's best for a single player.
Blue Jackets' general manager Scott Howson obviously felt he could receive more assets for Nash in the offseason than at the deadline—which by all means makes perfect sense. Teams are always skeptical of making a roster move of epic proportions—midseason—that could potentially disrupt team chemistry.
According to nbcsports.com, Howson wanted/wants an impact player, two prospects and a high draft pick in exchange for Nash.
A hefty asking price, yes, but well worth it when you're getting a player of Rick Nash's caliber.
Keep in mind folks, Howson's options were immediately limited when Nash had submitted a list to Howson containing the teams he would accept a trade to.
As a general manager, waiting for the best trade package is key. Chances are a trade offer Howson can't refuse comes along in the offseason, making Howson's patience ultimately pay off.
In addition, there's the money aspect of it all. We live in a salary cap world people! Trading a $7.8 million cap hit is 10 times easier to do in the offseason, than in the regular season.
Will the Nash situation turn awkward in Columbus? Perhaps. It's apparent the guy wants out.
But if you're Scott Howson, who cares?