The Rick Nash Sweepstakes are on hold until the summer. In the meantime, the Blue Jackets will stagger through the final quarter of their season as dead players skating.
GM Scott Howson told reporters that Nash asked for a trade. Nash responded by explaining why offering himself up for a blockbuster trade was in the best interest of the franchise.
“I was informed by management that there was a rebuild, a reshape, in the team,” Nash told reporters Tuesday. “And I personally felt I could be a huge part of that toward bringing assets in. In my view, that was the best thing for the team, the organization, and personally for my career.
“I felt I could be a huge part of the rebuilding by bringing them assets.”
Columbus has to start over. Howson dropped the plunger on his team and only half of it fell, creating an awkward scenario for the rest of the season.
The Blue Jackets celebrated Nash’s post-deadline presence with a resounding come-from-ahead 5-2 loss to the Red Wings.
“I thought it was an entertaining game,” Jackets interim coach Todd Richards told reporters, trying to remain upbeat in the face of catastrophe. “It was a disappointing finish to what I thought was a good game.”
Entertaining losses are about the best Columbus can hope for moving forward. It’ll be interesting to see how is running and coaching this team next season – and how many of the current players are still on board.
Senators GM Bryan Murray can empathize with Howson, since he was forced to deal Dany Heatley under tough circumstances. Murray told ESPN that Nash should expand the list of teams he is willing to go to so the Blue Jackets can make the best possible deal.
“I would say that the more opportunity Howson has to talk to other teams, the better chance both parties have of getting a deal done," Murray said. “The friendly advice is, get together with the agent and the player. Work with them. Allow the manager to extend the field of teams. That will allow him to complete a trade that on some level is satisfactory to the franchise as well. [Nash and his agent] at least owe him that.”