Monday, February 27, 2012

Columbus has a National Hockey League franchise. Really.

As time wore down on the 2012 NHL trade deadline, I noted that the storyline coming from NHL-centric media and other teams' partisans was that the Columbus Blue Jackets "got greedy" and, because of that perceived greed, scuttled the trade of Rick Nash by their actions.

I'm blowing the whistle on this meme.  Two minute minor.  Go to the box.  Jackets on the power play.

It might surprise some, but Columbus has a National Hockey League franchise - the equal of each of the other 29 teams.  And this team is no more greedy than any of them.  They just want to get what they feel that they need.  While the Blue Jackets don't have the longevity (if not pedigree) of other National Hockey League franchises, it is a legitimate franchise with its own self-interest that must be respected.

The Blue Jackets were not "greedy" when the New York Rangers offered a last-ditch "massive" package for Nash.  It wasn't what the Blue Jackets wanted, so the deal didn't get done.

By all accounts, the Blue Jackets has established a potential trade structure with the Rangers well in advance of the deadline, but the Rangers didn't bite.  Were the Rangers not being greedy?

The Blue Jackets had determined their threshold to
trade Rick Nash.  No team we willing to hit that level.
Yet the Blue Jackets are greedy?  Right.
The San Jose Sharks apparently made a run at Nash, but the Blue Jackets were rumored to want Logan Couture.  If you trust the scuttlebutt, the Sharks backed away because they didn't want to lose Couture.  Who was greedy - San Jose or Columbus?

Same could be said for any other possible suitor for Nash.  Presuming that they engaged the Blue Jackets in good faith, those other teams withdrew out of "greed" - or self-interest.  They surely could have had Nash, but they passed.

Never mind that the Blue Jackets were under no contractual pressure to move Nash.  Why would the team NOT maximize its self-interest and walk if they didn't get what they wanted?

I am not a fan of Scott Howson and am disappointed that (what I feel to be) a needed demolition of this roster didn't happen.  I'm not thrilled that the team's emotional bridge with Rick Nash was burned by confronting him with the possibility of a trade...and then no trade was consummated.  I worry about the lingering effect of the past couple weeks on the team and the locker room.  

At the same time, I respect Howson, Craig Patrick and the Blue Jackets for sticking to their guns and not giving up the team's most meaningful asset for less than the team needed.


  1. What do you think now, about Nash requesting the trade?

  2. I agree with the above comment. I would love to hear your thoughts now that it has come out Nash requested the trade. Personally i feel it to be a little disheartening. You have a strong, highly skilled player representing not only the organization but the entire city. He always claimed that he loves it here and wants to stay here and win here. He has said it repeatedly even after January, but now to hear he requested the trade seems to me to be a little two faced and not sure how i feel about him anymore. I respect his game, and he may love the city, but dont say you want to stay here and win here when you have requested a trade.

  3. To both of the above comments, I'm going to take a breather for the evening. I don't have enough time to write anything meaningful and have committed to an event with Mrs. DBJ for tonight.

    I'll try to put something on the blog tomorrow, which might be best seeing as there's a lot to consider.

    My circumstances shouldn't affect any of my compadres' ability to offer their thoughts - they are always free to do so.

  4. In fairness, I'd love to hear Rick Nash's side of the story before piping in. Not sure that will happen, but that would be ideal.

  5. I'm a Rangers fan and I have to say that, if what Howson reportedly asked for is accurate, it was an absolute absurd proposal. McDonough/Del Zotto, Stepan/Hagelin, Dubinsky, and Kreider? I am not sure if I would trade McDonough for Nash straight up. What Sather offered, reportedly JT Miller, Erikson, Cristian Thomas, Dubinsky, and a first was beyond generous. I'm shocked that the proposal was rejected. Miller and Erikson are blue chippers. I want to actually thank Howson for rejecting that offer as, even as good as Nash is, the Rangers would have been getting fleeced there.

    Truth is, I doubt the jackets get a similarly good offer in the offseason. Today, he was the stand-alone superstar available and teams like the Rangers, who are chomping at the bit to bolster their lineups to make a run at the Cup, were aggressively pursuing him. You think in the off season, when a guy like Zach Parise is available for free, that you are going to have similar interest?

    1. This dude is right about everything. Particularly about Scott Howson's misguided belief that he will get a better offer in the offseason. Nothing will have changed. The Blue Jackets' demands have been set for a while, it's true - and it's also true that they set them too high. Glen Sather and other interested GMs clearly believe Nash will improve once he leaves Columbus, or else they wouldn't be so interested in acquiring him. But at the same time they won't let that upside blind them: Nash is overpaid and has not performed up to his contract. That won't change this summer, no matter how much Scott Howson wants it to.

  6. Personally I am not surprized that Nash asked to be traded. Who would want to stay around with a GM like Scott Howson that can't make any decent trade moves. Though apparently Nash wants to move on I'm happy that it won't happen until the off season. If only we could fire Howson then maybe Nash would be more apt to want to stay. You've gotta admit, he's been far more patient than most "star" players would be with our roster troubles.

  7. Personally, I think if Nash gets traded to another team, he'll end up on a second line and never be what he was in columbus. Maybe that's what he wants? To not have to shoulder the load of an entire team that has no sense of direction.


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