NHL Trade Deadline: Blue Jackets Must Trade Rick Nash This Offseason
There were so many rumors concerning Nash in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline that he seemed like a virtual lock to be traded. All it would take was an offer to satisfy Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson.
But it wasn't Howson who started the Nash trade circus. He revealed on Monday that Nash himself asked to be traded, a reality that had previously been kept a secret.
"He obviously wants a change," Howson of said Nash, according to ESPN.com.
The report on the Worldwide Leader's site also says it's "clear" that the Blue Jackets will try to deal Nash this summer, and that much should be obvious. Once it becomes common knowledge that Nash asked to be traded, the Columbus fan base is not going to be happy. Nash did, after all, repeatedly insist that he was happy with the Blue Jackets.
Do the Blue Jackets need to trade Rick Nash this offseason?
Squaring things with the fans is not an issue, but it's going to be easier said than done for Nash and the front office to forget that this season's trade deadline fiasco ever happened. Nash clearly doesn't want to stay in Columbus, and that should be just fine with Howson, who has to know that there will still be takers for Nash once the offseason rolls around.
Apparently, every team in the league talked to the Blue Jackets about Nash, who the Blue Jackets selected first overall back in 2002. Several teams, including the New York Rangers, were reported to have been close to making a deal for Nash, but ultimately Howson's price tag proved to be too high.
That's not going to change this offseason, nor should it. Teams will still have to give up a lot to get Nash, but more teams could find it easier to bite on Columbus' price tag after clearing cap room.
Howson may be forced to lower his asking price for Nash if the market for him is slow to develop again. If it comes to that, he may not hesitate to do that. He says he wants to "reshape" the team, and it's going to be very hard for him to do that while keeping Nash on the roster, not to mention on the payroll.
So if you were enjoying the Nash trade circus, you're in luck. It's probably not over yet.
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