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.
…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.