Rick Nash may have played his last game as a Blue Jacket on Sunday. His is the biggest name known to be on the trade market as the NHL trade deadline arrives Monday.
If so, it was like so many other Nash games for the Blue Jackets. He scored a goal and they lost, falling 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Consol Energy Center.
According to published reports, the Blue Jackets are in talks with the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs regarding Nash, the Blue Jackets' No. 1 overall draft pick in 2002 and their captain since 2008.
The Blue Jackets don't have to trade Nash -- he's signed to 2017-18 -- but Nash's agent, Joe Resnick, turned up the temperature on Saturday, telling Canada's TSN that it would be best if Nash were not a Blue Jacket after Monday.
"We're hopeful a deal can get done prior to the trade deadline that is fair and equitable for the Blue Jackets," Resnick said. "However, if a deal is not reached, then the list of acceptable teams will not change at a later date."
Asked if he agreed with his agent's comments, Nash declined to comment. He also said he didn't think about the possibility of Sunday's game being his final game in a Blue Jackets sweater.
But he offered an interesting quote when asked how much longer he could take sticking with a losing franchise.
"It's been a great time living in Columbus," Nash said. "I'm a Blue Jacket today, and we're going to do everything we can to move forward as a team.
"Like I said the other day, these fans deserve a winning team. They're the ones that have been the most patient."
The Blue Jackets next face the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
NOTES, QUOTESBlue Jackets could be active at trade deadline
--The Columbus Dispatch reported on Sunday that several Blue Jackets could be sent packing by Monday's NHL trade deadline. Captain Rick Nash is the biggest name, but R.J. Umberger, Derick Brassard, Sammy Pahlsson, Fedor Tyutin, Derek MacKenzie and Marc Methot could be traded as the Blue Jackets look to retool their last-place club.
--The Blue Jackets were outshot 40-24 in Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the fourth time this season they've allowed more than 40 shots.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's been a long few weeks, a lot of talk and anticipation and I think we're ready for it to be over." -- Blue Jackets winger R.J. Umberger, regarding trade deadline speculation.
ROSTER REPORTPLAYER NOTES:
--D Jack Johnson made his Blue Jackets debut in Sunday's 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh. He paired with James Wisniewski on the Blue Jackets' second pair, playing 23 minutes, 29 seconds and blocking three shots. He had a minus-1 rating.
--RW Rick Nash scored his 21st goal of the season on Sunday, a short-handed goal early in the second period. Nash, who has played sparingly on the penalty kill since Ken Hitchcock was fired as Blue Jackets coach in 2010, had gone 205 games without a short-handed goal.
--RW Vinny Prospal scored his 11th goal of the season in Sunday's 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh. After scoring nine goals in his first 41 games this season, Prospal has just two goals in the last 21 games.
--LW Kristian Huselius (lower body) is out until late February.
--D Radek Martinek (concussion) is out for the season.
--D Marc Methot (broken jaw) is out for the season.
--RW Jared Boll (broken foot) is out four-to-six weeks.