Rick Nash needs to take a page out of Dwight Howard's book and change his mind.
The Columbus Blue Jackets big left winger has long assumed to be on his way out via the trade market, but he reportedly only has a few teams he would be willing to play for, severely limiting the trade options.
Nash, 28, has a no-movement clause in his contract and the Columbus Dispatch has reported the Hurricanes have not been included on Nash’s approved list of teams.
That doesn't mean Nash can't change his mind, and if he were smart, he would add the Canes to his list.
The No. 1 priority for Nash should be to contend for the Stanley Cup. Yes, the Hurricanes finished at the bottom of the Southeast division in 2011-12 with a 33-33-16 record, but you have to look to the future.
Carolina has a very good young core.
27-year-old Eric Staal is coming off an impressive 70-point season, Jeff Skinner is already very productive at just 20 years old, the defense is fairly young and with 24-year-old Jamie McBain and 20-year-old Justin Faulk making major contributions, it's on the way up.
Now, add in Jordan Staal, who the 'Canes just signed to a 10-year contract, and this is suddenly a very intriguing team.
If I'm Nash, I wouldn't just shrug off the idea of playing with the Staal brothers, who combined for 120 points and 71 assists last year.
It's almost a guarantee Nash would see his 30-goal output from '11-12 jump back up to the 40s or even higher.
So while at first glance it makes sense that Nash would avoid the Panthers and hold out for a better squad, he needs to realize with him—and maybe another defenseman or two—Carolina is suddenly a legitimate candidate to make a run at the Stanley Cup.
It's never too late to change your mind, Rick.