Monday, February 27, 2012

The Kobayashi Maru Trade Deadline

The Kobayashi Maru scenario, of Star Trek fame seems to me to be the best description of today's trade deadline activity.  Briefly, the Kobayashi Maru is the fictional no-win scenario that Starfleet Cadets were always forced to face.  To me, a no-win scenario is the best description of the swirl of controversy surrounding the CBJ and their star player, the face of the franchise, Rick Nash.

Part of our role here on this blog is to attempt to provide perspective.  We're not the best at recapping events, per se.  At the close of trade deadline 2012, we know approximately this:

A. Nash was on the trading block; B. It was widely perceived that management had made the decision to trade him, as their most valuable asset; C. the CBJ maintained a very steep asking price for the face of the franchise; D. the offers from the teams on the list provided by Nash did not meet the price that was set, and E. Ultimately, management revealed that Nash asked for a trade back in January.  Ugh.

Any general manager who sets about trading his only star sets himself up to be remembered for ever as "that bozo who traded _______ for only ______, _______, and _____________".  The team of Howson and Patrick did not want to wear that mantle, and refused the watered down offers that did not meet their admittedly high price.  The upshot of this is that you have 20 games left to play with a player you have apparently burned your bridges with.  But have they?

Rick Nash, after he was last on the ice at practice, body language says a lot.
Nash is not blameless in this affair.  I'm a season ticket holder.  I go to the games.  I watched Nash dogging it in November.  I can understand his disappointment, with the season already gone in October.  But the Ducks turned their season around AFTER this point in time, and at one point in time THEY were 30th in the league, not the CBJ.  Nash is the captain, the guy that's supposed to set direction.  But he quit on this season in November.

Nash didn't believe in what Scott Arniel was selling.  Who can blame him?  I don't think Arniel believed it in the end.  It certainly wasn't going to work in the NHL.  Strike for management.  Every single veteran on this team under performed out of the gate this season.  This was the core of players who were supposed to take us forward, deep into the playoffs, lead by Nash.  Strike against Nash and the players.  Management didn't properly vet the Jeff Carter situation.  Strike against management.  Management didn't deal with the goal tending.  Strike against management.  Players can't hit a pass to one another.  Strike against players.  Players can't hit an open net.  Strike against the players.  Etc. etc.

Bottom line, there is more than enough blame to go around for everyone, with a healthy dose of misfortune (when you have plan D in the goal early in the season, you know you are in deep trouble).  Nash is within his rights if he wants to demand a trade to get out.  He should appreciate how long management ate the criticism for looking at trading him.  Nash is NOT within his rights to ask anyone for a change of management, as has been reported..  He is a member of the NHLPA, not part of the ownership.  He can choose whether he likes it or not, but for cryin' out loud, the guy is making $7.8 million a year, and he doesn't like his boss???  Sorryyyy!  Deal with it the way everyone else does, go out buy a beer, and complain to your buddies.

So, in the end, Nash is on the block.  Management refuses to trade him for less than they perceive he is worth.  And now both are in a lame duck scenario, waiting for the trade deadline.  Based on his play to date in this season, some perceive him to be over-valued.  It is in Nash's best interest to finish this year strong, he's having an audition.  Too bad he couldn't have done that audition earlier in the year for the fans.  So it goes.

The Kobayashi Maru scenario.  The no-win.



  1. A no-win? Pretty much nailed it.

    Now, put Howson/Priest v. Nash/Resnik aside. How does the franchise win? How do the fans win? How does Columbus win?

    Is it possible? How does the ship get righted after this one?

  2. Captain Kirk once said he never believed in the no-win scenario.

    Obviously, Captain Kirk never met the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    And now the ultimate insult -- the ownership group has decided to allow the architects of this mess to "reshape" the team.

    Here in Ohio, farmers found no matter how hard someone might try, you cannot sculpt a Michelangelo out of cow manure. But obviously the GM from Moose Scrotum, Alberta wouldn't know a cow pie if it got served up to him for lunch. He'd probably just ask for the ketchup.

    The trade deadline results were no surprise. Sammi was the only Jacket of value whose contract wouldn't hang on his new team like an anchor on a rowboat. What GM, other than Opie Howson, would take on the bloated contracts of grossly overpaid Brassard, Umberger, Tyutin, Methot, Mason, or Wisniewski? The answer was painfully obvious and fortells more dark times ahead.

    I doubt anyone here in Columbus would blame Rick Nash for finally wanting out. Even Job escaped from the belly of the whale. Now the class thing for GM Opie to do would be to stay quiet. Nope! In a "Well, he started it!" moment, the Reshaper couldn't wait to tell the press that #61 asked to be traded over a month ago. Oh yeah, that large thud you heard during the press conference was the CBJ team bus running back and forth over Nash. Thanks for the years of enduring stupid management decisions, Rick!

    Opie is not the sole villain here. The star players often play 35-40 minutes. Too bad it's a 60 minute game. It's no wonder Captain Nash never said anything in the room about it -- he has been the biggest offender. And when Hall of Fame Coach Ken Hitchcock rode the big money boys for dogging it, their response was to go to GM Opie and tell him it was either us or Hitch, and we know how that one worked out.

    In most cities, fans would do the right thing by now. Long time ago, there'd have been boycotts of games or not entering the arena until after the opening faceoff or a boycott of all concessions. But here in Columbus, I don't think we get it. And unfortunately, until we do get it and start to send the money message to the CBJ, ownership won't change a thing. And why should they -- we the people will be GIVING the CBJ millions of dollars a year for the next millenium for the privilege of having a pro hockey team here in Central Ohio. That's kind of like seeing the price of gasoline go to $5.00 a gallon and cheering.

    As for Captain Kirk, he probably would turn to Mr. Spock for an opinion expecting a retort of "illogical" only to be surprised when he heard "Equine droppings."

    --- The tattered and worn BlueJacket

  3. I'm sorry but I think nash is well with in his rights going to management and asking for changes. and I don't care how many millions you make.. if the situation is toxic then you again can ask for changes to be made. we're not talking about overnight stupidity- we're talking about years of this stuff. maybe the lack of action on behalf of the management with regards to the season, the players, Arniel, etc.. was the straw that broke the camel's back. go to the bar and drink it off? you've obviously never worked for extremely bad management. that sentiment alone is going to cost you more years of bad play.

    if anyone wants to debate nash's dedication to the city and team, then let's start. maybe it has been called into question over the last couple of years, every wrong turn and every missed pass yields speculation that he hates the team. come on now.

    I'm very devastated that he wanted the trade. I'm devastated because it got to that point. I think that while howson had the right to blow the whistle, he did it for no one but himself. let us put out there something that is obviously going to tear the team and the community apart. yeah, that was wise thinking howson.

    Nash will be traded. I hope that is not at the point were there such animosity.. he doesn't deserve that. we as a team do not deserve that. howson. needs. to. go.


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