By Dylan Howlett (@DylanHowlett)
July 23, 2012. The day was sure to headline the epitaph of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
It was the day their captain, their face, their soul, Rich Nash, approved a trade to the New York Rangers. Nash, the lifeblood of a franchise looking for hope, a savior to lead their glorious resurrection, had fled. He strong-armed General Manager Scott Howson into making a deal, any deal, that would give Columbus a semblance of optimism in the form of elite prospects and draft picks.
The bounty for Nash amounted to little more than a lunchpail: two fledgling forwards (Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov), a young defenseman still trying to fill his own shadow (Tim Erixon) and a first-round pick. That was all a heart, a face, a soul and a no-trade clause could get. Howson was vilified, then pink-slipped nearly seven months later.
And there rests the Columbus Blue Jackets. Thoughts and condolences to a fanbase that deserved much more.
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