|Rick Nash leaving the locker room for Todd Richards|
first practice. Last man on the ice.
His time was over.
The new Blue Jackets will quickly find that effort sells in this town. You come out and play hard, people will want you to win, but they'll understand when you don't. We are interested in watching hard fought, entertaining hockey, regardless of the outcome. We are not interested in players that can't decide if they want to show up on any given night.
The dearth of talent that is the inevitable lot of an expansion franchise magnifies the impact of really talented players. This is the role that Nash has played for the last ten years. The big dog. Opposing team's strategies for playing the CBJ were simple, shut down Nash and the odds of the other guys beating you are pretty slim. To the detriment of his game, Nash would often directly assault these 3 on 1 matchups, to no avail.
So a question you have to ask yourself, and many other people will be working hard on, how do you beat the 2012-13 Columbus Blue Jackets? It's simply not that evident any more. (Ok, well throw the puck at the net is the simple answer, we know that!) We have moved on to a new era.
I wish you well Rick Nash. I wish there had been more for you here, and I do believe you gave it a good effort. In the end, the weight of it all got to you. There will be other weights, and other pressures in New York. Your experience here will help you with this.
Now it's time to move on. This is about to get interesting. We have a very new team to learn about, and it should be interesting to watch them develop. These are not your daddy's Blue Jackets anymore.