Rick Nash Rumors: Will the High Asking Price Result in Nash Staying in Columbus?

Patrick Drottar@pdrottarCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 03:  Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates up to a face off against the Phoenix Coyotes during NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on April 3, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Blue Jackets 2-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It's no secret the Columbus Blue Jackets have been trying to move captain Rick Nash to help reshape the future of the team.

Since February, Nash has found his name linked in many trade rumors involving several different teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and Detroit Red Wings.

Columbus' general manager Scott Howson knows a hot commodity when he has one, and wants a big return in exchange for Nash.

Howson made it clear that he is looking for a couple of immediate impact forwards, a first round draft pick, and two to three top prospects.

Every team interested in Nash believed that the asking price was way too high, which is why Nash was not traded before the February trade deadline last season. Many believed that teams would be more willing to agree to the demands around draft time and in the offseason.

However, we are now in mid-July and Nash has yet to be moved by Columbus.

Once other big name free agents like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were signed, the Nash talks were supposed to heat back up with the teams that missed out.

Those two were signed by Minnesota several weeks ago and yet, the Nash talks remain cold.

Over the past few months, almost no progress has been made on a deal as Howson does not plan on substantially lowering his asking price.

It was reported earlier by Yahoo! Sports that the Red Wings made a "huge" offer for Nash earlier in the week, but the deal was turned down yet again.

Not wanting to see Nash several times on a division rival is understandable, but the Jackets may not be receiving any offers better than the one Detroit put right in front of them.

Howson is asking for teams to pretty much disassemble their roster of talent and prospects to bring back just one player, which is too much for teams to give. However, Howson will not budge.

With Howson's asking price staying put until he gets what he wants brings about the question of whether Nash will stay in Columbus.

Howson stated that there are no deadlines on moving his captain and that he will remain patient, but the 2012-2013 season is right around the corner in just two-and-a-half months.

When asked about the possibility of Nash staying, Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline talked about what training camp might be for the Jackets,

"Nash could attend training camp, which would be an awkward scene, attracting widespread media attention."

Nash getting traded was inevitable at the beginning of the offseason and now there is a chance he may continue to play for the franchise that made it clear they wanted to get rid of him.

And according to HockeyBuzz.com, the Jackets may be starting to realize this and are even considering trying to make things right with the face of the Jackets' franchise,

source: jackets are having internals and discussing a completely revised strategy regarding Rick and his future.

ek: by revised you mean....?

source: revised. haha. re-thinking everything.

ek: so they are considering a more realistic asking price? changing demands?

source: could also be considering not moving him at all. ***** straight up told me they are considering meeting in attempt to mend fences. re-selling him on the program.

How do you mend the fences with a player after telling him the franchise will move on without him?

Unless someone meets his demands, Scott Howson will have to think about that long and hard before training camp begins.

Having a player on the team that does not want to be there can set Columbus back even farther than they were before, just look at last year's situation with Jeff Carter.

And the media attention and distractions the situation would bring would greatly affect the focus of a team that is trying to rebuild themselves into a solid contender.

The Jackets still have some time to trade Nash, and the Philadelphia offer sheet for Shea Weber could help heat up trade talks. With the possibility of Weber joining the Atlantic division, the New York Rangers may finally be calling again asking about Nash.

However, Howson cannot be as patient as he may want to be as the summer is quickly coming to an end.

This season is a make-or-break one for Howson and if he cannot move his star, he will have to find a way to keep Nash happy so he's not out of a job by next summer.


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