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Nash: “I felt I could be a huge part of the rebuilding by bringing them assets”

Feb 28, 2012, 11:25 AM EDT

Hearing Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson discuss how captain Rick Nash came to him to request a trade had all the makings of a GM throwing his team’s captain under the bus.

But at Blue Jackets practice this morning, Nash came out of it smelling like a rose. The longest-tenured player on the BJs roster discussing the situation (reported by Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch, via Twitter.)

Nash said he hoped the team could facilitate a rebuild by trading him for the necessary players and picks needed to start from the ground up. As Nash told Portzline, he had the team’s best intentions in mind when coming to them asking for a trade.

“I felt I could be a huge part of the rebuilding by bringing them assets,” Nash said.

Either Nash is the nicest guy on Earth or he’s one super smooth-talking character. As for whether or not the fans will see things that way, he knows it might be dicey.

“I’m not sure what to expect. I’ve been with the fans my entire career here. I’ll love them no matter what.”

If nothing else, Nash is really good at defusing what had all the makings of a very uncomfortable situation. Question is, will the fans buy it?

Update: Here’s video of Nash meeting the press in Columbus today courtesy of the Blue Jackets.

  1. govtminion - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    *somewhere, Mats Sundin is very confused*

  2. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Everyone quick!!! JUMP ON THIS GRENADE

  3. abrienza428 - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Then why did he have a rather short list of teams he’d go to?

    Everybody understands why he would want out, so this is probably just an attempt to save face and not the complete truth. Would I be upset with him if I was a CBJ fan? Probably, but it’s understandable.

    • sportsfreak13 - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      because the ability to have a short list is in his contract. People forget he has to live in this new city for the next 7 years ( kind of a big decision).

      • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        no offense to the people of Columbus, but in most people’s NHLer’s eyes that is the worst place to play / city to live.

        So almost anything would be an upgrade. Anything in Canada would be a plus for Nash, home country. I haven’t seen anyone complain about going south to warm weather. Most of the other cities are big name franchises that he would welcome a trade to.

        There is no doubt in my mind that he has a list of where he wants to go and where he doesn’t but honestly I think he would get out “IF” he had to.

  4. obamablowz - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Rick, you couldn’t help rebuild with your play? You’re not that good and I don’t understand the man crush everyone has with you. The fact that you are still a Blue Jacket shows that the entire league sees what the Blue Jackets don’t. YOU’RE NOT THAT GOOD!!!!!

    • drewsylvania - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      There are so many things wrong with this post.

      1) One player can’t turn a team around.
      2) Nash would put up MUCH better stats on a decent team.
      3) If the stack of players and prospects the Rangers offered wasn’t enough for CBJ, then they didn’t really want to trade Nash in the first place.
      4) Nice handle.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        You can argue the last package that the Rangers (reportedly) offered wasn’t all that great actually. But otherwise your sentiment is right on.

      • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Feb 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        the Rangers offer was garbage and we all knew this wasn’t going to happen till the summer…

  5. pepper2011 - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    You play your heart out for an organization and GM that have no idea how to win or put together a competitive team; then they throw you under the bus and you still take the high road. Kudos to you Rick Nash. As to why he had a short list of teams? he spent the first 9 years of his career and the best player they manged to team him up with was Umberger (or Carter). I like Umberger but when you have Rick Nash you go get someone that can get him the puck. Their drafting has been atrocious- they have had 7 picks on the top 10 and the best player they have managed to get has mustered up 50 points- who they traded. Johansen will be good. He wants to win. that’s why his window of teams is small. The teams that were rumored to be on his list have a track record of being well run teams with talent. It’s not like his list included teams that would have made it impossible to get something back. He has been one of the better players in the league for almost a decade and he deserves a shot. you shouldn’t be mad at him, you should be mad at your crappy management team. you should be happy he didn’t force this issue 5 years ago when it was apparent the best center he was gonna have was vermette. I hope the Bruins can find some room for him in the offseason; although I see that unlikely – if not the Bruins, I hope you are playing alongside Datsyuk or Toews and hopefully Chara can shut you down on the SCF

  6. drewsylvania - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    The Bruins probably can’t afford Nash. But he’d score 40 with that offense.

  7. bcisleman - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Nash may be a nice guy, but he doesnt have to be the nicest guy on earth or a smooth talker to be for real here.

    He wants out, but he doesnt want to be seen as a Heatley or Lindros type. That would make the better teams shy away from him as a huge risk to their chemistry. So he’s making the effort to give Columbus a chance to rebuild by trading him.

    The comments by Resnick and Howson complicated this task, but a deadline trade was always unlikely. Look for a Draft Day trade along the lines of the Pronger trade: an impact player, a blue chip prospect, and one or more prospects and first round picks. He might have to be a little flexible in terms of his teams.

  8. lucicfan603 - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I think that it was howsons pride that got in the way of this trade. He’s a terrible gm and wanted to send a message to the team and Nash. If rebuilding was their goal then the trade that the Rangers sent them was their chance now CBJ waits until the summer when the market will be flooded with talent and teams can get better players for less. Howson needs to go

  9. habsman - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    “I felt I could be a huge part of the rebuilding by bringing them assets,”

    Yeah, Rick is only interested in the rebuild. He was only doing this for the Jackets and their fans with no concern for himself. I doubt that Jacket fans are gullable enough to believe this.

    Nash should have come clean with the fans and his teamates instead of making it kook like the Jackets were shopping him.

    • drewsylvania - Feb 28, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      How do you know CBJ wasn’t shopping him?

      • habsman - Feb 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM

        Howson stated that Nash asked to be traded. Nash hasn’t refuted it. Other than that, do have any information indicating the Jackets were shopping him prior to his trade request?

      • drewsylvania - Feb 28, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        No, but the circumstances make it seem very likely that they were, or at least should have been. It’s the deadline, after all–virtually every player is inquired upon, and Howson would have to be a complete idiot not to see the value in getting a pile of talent back to stock his lousy roster.

      • habsman - Feb 28, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        By all accounts, the Jackets were going to rebuild “around” Nash, not without him. He also had a NTC, so Howson would unlikely shop him without his consent.

  10. east96st - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Now that I’ve calmed down a bit from my foaming at the mouth, “I want Howson drawn and quartered” rant stage (my apologies to all here that I “yelled” at yesterday), I can say, yeah, Rick IS that nice of a guy. As a ticket holder I have met him a bunch of times at team events and charity fundraisers. It’s clear that Nash is not comfortable in crowds. In spite of that, he does a TON of charity work, signs every autograph, takes pictures with every snot nose kid and/or 350 lb housewife that asks. The guy is just a damn decent human being. I know that’s hard to believe in professional sports, but with Nash it’s true. He has given his time and effort to make Columbus a better place to live and the Jackets a better team to play for year after year after year. Any fan that turns on Rick is NOT a CBJ fan. He was and is, for now, the ONLY decent thing about the franchise. If ANY fan turns against him, they are fools. If they thought this year was bad, wait until Rick is gone. Any competent owner and front office would have built a competitive team around this guy. It could have been a golden age of hockey in Columbus. Instead, we are saddled with McConnell, Priest, and Howson. I would like nothing better than during the final game against the Islanders on April 7th for McConnell and Howson to walk onto the ice before the game and hear the cascade of boos coming down from every seat in Nationwide. And when Rick comes onto the ice, I know my son and I will standing and cheering as loud as we can for a great player and a role model for every kid in Columbus. Nash has more class in his pinkie than the entire front office has put together. Goodbye Rick. You deserve better. Thank you for all you did for Columbus. When human sewage like Carter is the best that Columbus can sign, people will realize what this city has lost.

    • drewsylvania - Feb 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      How did Carter go from 40-goal scorer to “human sewage”?

      • east96st - Feb 28, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        Everyone knows Carter was nothing but a d**k from the moment the trade to Columbus was announced and it didn’t stop until he left. I’ve never seen anyone in any field act so unprofessionally from day one on. I understand he didn’t want leave a contender for a crap team, but not a single one of his checks bounced. I didn’t want to leave NYC for Columbus for my job, either. But you’re getting paid. Man up and earn your pay. He could have worked with Nash, Umberger, Vermette and the few others that actually played hard to try to change the culture, get the other guys to play hard again. Maybe, if they won a few more games, play with more heart, they could have approached the owner as a group and begged him to get rid of Howson and Priest. Instead, he chose to pout and dog it until he forced the Jackets to trade him. If Carter had any decency, he would donate all those checks to charity. He didn’t earn any of them.

      • drewsylvania - Feb 28, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        I didn’t know that–I thought Carter was hurt to begin with.

  11. rsl22 - Feb 28, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Reading between the lines, did Rick Nash mean:

    A) “I was requesting to be traded to help the franchise…Wasn’t it clear when I requested to be traded to one of the top five teams in the league that this wasn’t about me?”

    B) “I was requesting to be traded to help the franchise because I have never been able to help them on the ice.”

    C) “I was requesting to be traded because I realized that even though I’m making an average of nearly $8MM over 8 years to play a game, I realized that signing that contract was a horrible decision on my part, and I need to say and do whatever I can to make it look like I’m just a poor victim to get the F out of Dodge ASAP.”

    • rsl22 - Feb 28, 2012 at 4:47 PM

      Also, I can actually believe Nash is probably a pretty good guy (you’d have to be to resign in Columbus).

      I’m a Caps fan, and with that comes defending Ovechkin non-stop. On the ice I’d take OV over Nash any day, but I think it’d be nice to have him act like a leader off the ice, not go to clubs or back to Russia in the off-season, and be a more fan-friendly character (like he was when he first got to the city).

  12. claysbar - Feb 28, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    He could ask to be traded or play like a schmoe until they had to trade him. The guy re-signed to a bad team on the promise they would improve. He gave them time and they failed. So in the time honored tradition of being a team player ;ie “just thank god I’m here, Just wanna help the team”, he went to management and said trade me. He didn’t go through the media and start crap, he just said it’s time. Anyone who gives this guy crap is delusional.

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