NHL Trade Rumors: Blue Jackets Will Suffer by Waiting Too Long to Deal Rick Nash
It's understandable that the Columbus Blue Jackets are reluctant to trade Rick Nash.
They don't want to jump the gun too soon and miss out on a potentially better deal, and if they're trading away the cornerstone of their offense, who accounts for 60 to 80 points per year, they are forced to tread carefully amidst the trade waters.
However, in waiting too long for the perfect deal, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson runs the risk of ending up with no deal at all.
On Thursday afternoon, TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger reported the Hurricanes have become the latest team to bow out of the Nash sweepstakes:
Carolina Hurricanes are no longer persuing Rick Nash. Cost way too high. CBJ believed to be after Jeff Skinner. Non-starter.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 5, 2012
Granted, there was nobody who thought trading Rick Nash would be easy. He's been the most-discussed name on the trade circuit since February, when he (and his agent) made it known he wanted out of Columbus before the 2012 trade deadline.
That obviously didn't happen, and just because Nash wants to be somewhere else doesn't necessarily mean the team is going to rush to accommodate him, especially when there's not enough in it for them.
However, hanging on to a disgruntled star until it's too late and getting stuck with him because your asking price is too high is a recipe for disaster, and it's not a situation that's going to benefit either Columbus or Nash.
Take the case with Carolina. The Blue Jackets wanted 20-year-old center Jeff Skinner to be included in a trade package for Nash, and that was never going to happen because Skinner is far younger, far cheaper and projects to be just as productive in his career as a player like Nash. No matter who else might have been included in that potential package, that deal would have made so little sense for the Hurricanes that you have to wonder what Howson and the Blue Jackets were thinking in proposing it.
Is this how all the negotiations for Nash have gone? The Blue Jackets' requests have been outlandish, and as a result, all of the potential takers have fallen by the wayside?
Should the Blue Jackets trade Nash before the 2012-13 season starts?
If Columbus is truly committed to trading Nash, it might just have to accept a scenario that falls short of the ideal. The longer this uncertainty lasts, the more unpleasant this situation is going to become for both the team and for Nash.
The last thing the Blue Jackets want is to wait so long that there is nothing remotely appealing on the table anymore. They might have to take a good offer that's not perfect, but at least it's better than holding out so long that they just have to take what they can get—especially if what they get falls far short of Nash's true value.
The sooner the Blue Jackets get a deal worked out, the sooner they can start figuring out what their future, sans Nash, is going to look like—and the sooner they can move on from the drama that has hijacked this team for the last five months.
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