Saturday, April 30th, 2016

Nash and the BJs


Rick Nash to Vancouver? Zero – and I mean zero – chance. Why on earth would the Canucks want to get Rick Nash now? That’s a terrible idea. Not only would he cost two or three of Schneider, Hodgson and Tanev, the Canucks would have to drop at least two other players to fit Nash under the salary cap.

That’s idiotic. The Canucks are not going to remake their team – insert four or five new players into the lineup – at the trade deadline when they are in the hunt for another President’s Trophy. Who knows whether the new team – and it would be new – would be better? In this business it’s a lot easier to get worse than it is to get better. This is particularly true when you begin with an excellent team. Rick Nash would be a stupid and unnecessary risk.

(If the Canucks want a Rick Nash, they should chase Ales Hemsky because a) as a pending free agent, he will be much cheaper, b) he’s nearly as good and only a year older, and c) he’s much easier to fit under the cap.)

Anyway, the Rick Nash story has dominated the hockey talk without really dealing with anything more than possible destinations. I haven’t seen anyone speculate what this decision means for the Blue Jackets and their fans. Why was the decision taken? Perhaps more importantly, why was the decision taken now?

I can understand it as a decision to rebuild – not agree with it, but understand it – but peddling Nash now doesn’t make much sense. None of the team’s potential trading partners are in any better position to accept an $8 MM man than Vancouver is, except perhaps Toronto. Which other Nash destination would be willing to remake their roster now? Columbus can surely make a better deal around the draft when a few of the contenders have disappointed and they have the opportunity to create cap space.

From Puckrakers:

…last week, the Blue Jackets’ brass — owner John P. McConnell, president Mike Priest, Howson, senior advisor Craig Patrick, interim coach Todd Richards and perhaps others — met to discuss the club’s plans as it heads toward the deadline. In that meeting, it was determined that the possibility of trading Nash needed to be explored.

Why was it so determined? Probably because GM Howson informed the group that he couldn’t find a dance partner willing to take Jeff Carter’s contract out of Columbus, and ownership is insisting on significant payroll cuts right now. That’s bad news about the team finances and revenue projections. Worse, they are asking a fading fanbase to endure a rebuild – revenue won’t be trending up for the forseeable future.

Finally, it is another indictment of the system Gary Bettman imposed on hockey with his CBA. Can low revenue teams compete in this league? Nash, for one, has decided they can’t. Big stars are ending up in big markets. Nashville may deal – or lose – Ryan Suter this year and Shea Weber next. Does anyone doubt which teams are in the sweepstakes for any of these players?

How do you generate hope and growth in Columbus while trading the face of the franchise, a guy who had committed to the city and the team despite the disadvantages in the market?

Trading Rick Nash is not a good sign for this franchise.

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8 Responses to “Nash and the BJs”
  1. Brian Pidskalney says:

    “If the Canucks want a Rick Nash, they should chase Ales Hemsky because a) as a pending free agent, he will be much cheaper, b) he’s nearly as good and only a year older, and c) he’s much easier to fit under the cap.)”


    Did I just read that?

    First and last time reading this blog..


    • Tom says:

      What? You think Hemsky is better?

      Seriously, I didn’t think that was a particlarly controversial assertion even given that I think Nash is overrated and Hemsky underrated. Nash is better, but it isn’t like they are on different planets. Hemsky is a very good player. My opinion, anyway.

  2. Cookie La Rue says:

    I think Hemsky is by far better salaries included.
    Goodbye Mr. Pidskalney

    If the Canucks ever have the idea of dealing with Nash i say goodbye too.

  3. Thomas Pratt says:

    Since Nash is the face of their franchise, I can’t see the Blue Jackets considering a package of Schneider, Hodgson and Tanev. If I am talking a Nash trade with Vancouver, I want nothing less than Kesler. Nash has a reputation as one of the top players in the game (why, I don’t know, but I digress), and I want a top roster player in return. Not to mention a former Buckeye I can sell pretty easily to my jaded fan base.

    And if I’m Mike Gillis, I laugh at Howson and hang up.

    • Tom says:

      There isn’t any point to a Kesler-Nash trade. The BJs want to unload both Nash and Carter because they see some very lean revenue years coming up. They are dumping salary. They so want to dump salary they aren’t keeping Nash until the spring when they would get more for him. They don’t want a $5 MM man coming back. They want cheap – and young – coming back.

      The Canucks would not just be giving up Kesler in this impossible trade. They’d also have to clear another $3 MM in cap space somehow. That’s what makes it all such nonsense. Vancouver keeps coming up on all the trade tracker shows when it can’t happen. Who makes three or four significant roster moves to an excellent team at this time of year?

      Friedman reported the price Howson was asking on HNiC: A roster player capable of making an impact, two prospects and a pick. I think Howson would start by asking for Schneider, Hodgson, Tanev and a first. They’s probably settle for two of the three. I laugh at Howson too.

  4. Gerald says:

    Agreed that trading the face of a franchise is NEVER a good sign for any franchise, and Rick Nash definitely is the face of the Blue Jackets.

    That said, and while everyone has their own point of view, it seems to be a hard case indeed to suggest that Hemsky – a guy who has never scored more than 23 goals and never made an allstar team – against a guy who has won a Richard trophy and made five allstar games. They are very different types of players, so it is hard to compare, but that seems like way too far a stretch.

    Mind you, Hemsky cost me the top money in my hockey pool one year, beginning a stretch of 3 straight second place finishes, so it may be the bitterness talking, but still and all, Rick Nash is a heckuva hockey player to me.

    • Tom says:

      To me the biggest part of this story is on the business side. They would not be doing this if the organization was not in very bad financial shape. And for the league: Another big star leaving the hinterland and heading for a big market. I don’t think Bettman has the cojones to use it because this problem – that didn’t really exist under the old CBA – was supposed to go away with this one. I suspect he hopes nobody notices exactly what he’s wrought with this system.

      I agree that Nash is the better player. He scores goals and goals are the coin of the realm. But I think Hemsky is very underrated. He doesn’t score as many goals but he does lots of things that help a team win. He’s not as good, but he’s damned good. Nash is in the top 5% on my imaginary list, Hemsky in the top 10% assuming he is healthy.

      Under some circumstances, I prefer Hemsky. He’s a much better fit in Vancouver, and not just for salary. Hemsky the playmaker would probably add more goals to the Kesler line than Nash the goal scorer.


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