Columbus Blue Jackets: With Rick Nash Gone, Who Will Be Face of the Franchise?

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Columbus Blue Jackets: With Rick Nash Gone, Who Will Be Face of the Franchise?
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

When, and if, the 2012-2013 NHL season gets underway, the Columbus Blue Jackets will hit the ice for the first time without former captain and face of the franchise Rick Nash.

Nash was the team's most popular player for close to a decade with the Blue Jackets and after being traded to the New York Rangers in the offseason, Columbus will be forced to find a new face for their franchise.

The Nash trade was just one of the many moves made in the team's reshaping process, bringing in plenty of new faces, including players Mark Letestu, Jack Johnson, Sergei Bobrovsky, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, Artem Anisimov and Adrian Aucoin.

With an average age of about 25, the Blue Jackets are clearly trying to create a much younger team, with some players who have gained a lot of NHL experience at such a young age.

A lot of those younger players will be forced to step up their games without Nash's presence on the ice, as well as take on what may be an unfamiliar leadership role.

When looking at Columbus' roster for the upcoming season, there are four names that emerge as the leading candidates to be the face of the next chapter in Columbus Blue Jackets' history.

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