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Jackets “working very hard” to trade Nash

Jul 5, 2012, 4:45 PM EDT

Rick Nash AP

In case you figured they were just hanging out by the pool all day, the Columbus Blue Jackets are actually “working very hard” to trade Rick Nash.

However, that’s about all general manager Scott Howson would tell the Associated Press when asked for an update on the club’s efforts to move its captain.

And despite all the Jackets’ hard work, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch says talks are in a “holding pattern” and has been told “nothing is close.”

It was reported earlier today that the Carolina Hurricanes had pulled out of the bidding for Nash, unwilling to meet Howson’s asking price that was believed to include Jeff Skinner.

Related: Nash would go to Penguins

  1. rpiotr01 - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Yup, it’s really hard work for Howson to go over everyone’s roster and figure out the exact combination of players that each team would NOT trade for Nash, but by god, that’s what he’s gonna’ do!

  2. davebabychreturns - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    My guess is Howson is being impossible to negotiate with in order to pressure Nash to expand his list of teams.

    • handsofsweed - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      That’s the only explanation that makes any sense. And it’s kinda shrewd, actually.

  3. justsinner99 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    If he wants to unload that contract, he’s going to have to take mostly picks (or another bad contract) in return.

    No contending team wants to weaken their club in a trade.

  4. bcisleman - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    For all the blather about Howson’s handling of this, it was always going to be the case that he was going to have a tough time finding a team that could offer a fair compensation package for Nash. OTT is rich enough in assets and close enough to contention that it could afford to offer a viable package. Most teams cannot.

    I should add that some of the teams that can are trying to sell the notion that Howson is being unreasonable and thus pressure him to lower his demands. If he did, that would be the final proof of his incompetency.

    Howson has Nash under contract for 6 more years and is under no obligation to trade him at all. At the end of the day, if Nash wants to move, he is going to have to agree to go to whatever team or teams that will compensate CBJ fairly. Fair compensation is NOT what ever spare parts a potential suitor is willing to part with.

    • davebabychreturns - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      Good post. People on here saying that Howson will have to accept a pittance forget that Ottawa was clearly willing to offer up a competitive package to get Nash – it’s just a matter of finding a team willing to make that kind of offer that Nash will waive his no trade clause for.

      What I hear when I read a story about Howson asking for Jeff Skinner in return for Nash from one of Nash’s preferred destinations is “your move, Rick.”

      • langforc - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:54 AM

        I agree that Howson should be asking for a lot but by asking for Jeff Skinner to included in a package from Carolina shows how bad he is at evaluating a players worth. Nash is a helluva player but Jeff Skinner is worth more than Nash. He is 8 years younger, still under his entry level deal (only one year left) and he is a better player with a higher ceiling. By asking for the moon he is eliminating trade partners.

        When Ottawa offered their deal he should’ve been on the phone with Nash convincing him that Ottawa was the place to go. Maybe he was doing this but given his track record I am not convinced he was.

      • davebabychreturns - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        You’re not understanding my point. My point is that telling teams “I want your two best young players, or I want Logan Couture, or I want Jeff Skinner, or no deal” looks like a calculated way to make sure a deal does not get done.

        Howson might as well call up Ray Shero and say he’ll trade Rick Nash to the Penguins.. for Evgeni Malkin.

        The point is to make a trade impossible (despite “working hard” on it) so that Nash’s choices are to either expand his list or spend another season in Columbus. The point is not to get Jeff Skinner in a trade (although obviously that would be great), the point is to put pressure on Rick Nash.

    • habsman - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:24 PM

      Agreed. Nash cannot have it both ways. He can’t ask for a trade out of Columbus, and then tie the managers hands by limiting the number of teams he can negotiate a trade with. Much like the situation in Vancouver, both Howson and Gillis have the option of starting the season with both players in their respective line ups.

      By signing long term contracts, both Luongo and Nash have lost any control they may have had in their choice of teams.

      Also, there has been no mention of a franchise tag system being implemented in the upcoming CBA talks. It wouldn’t surprise me if the owners push for this when you see them lose million dollar assets like Parise and Suter and get nothing in return.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:32 PM

        I agree with all of you guys, that’s why the “limited no trade clause” is ridiculous, I can understand having a list of 5 or 6 teams you won’t go to but having a list of only 5 teams you will go to is worse than just saying you won’t accept a trade no matter what. If Nash really wants out of Columbus then he should give a list of 10-15 teams he will go to.

        Howson should just tell everyone that he can’t make a trade with the teams on the list and that he’s taking Nash off the market, the Jackets have a valid contract that both sides signed in good faith and they expect Nash to live up to his end. That would really put the pressure back on to Nash.

    • barkar942 - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      I see all of your valid points. However, the contract was negotiated with Nash and the team agreed to the limited no trade clause, so it is not Rick’s fault if Howson is coming up with ridiculous demands for trades with those few teams.
      If Howson’s ploy is to get Rick to expand his list, I feel Howson is wrong. Columbus agreed with the clause when they signed him, and now they should, and I believe, in the long term will have to honor it.
      Also, the fact that Howson threw Nash under the bus with the press conference after the trade deadline has backed him into a corner that really will cost Howson his job sooner than later. I honestly think that Craig Patrick wasn’t just hired for his looks!

  5. ray2013 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    I think this is a no-win situation. In order to get some value for Nash, they’ll want an impact player coming back to Columbus, but most impact players fall into two categories: young, untouchable players like Skinner that no team will trade, or an older established veteran who holds a NTC/NMC, and I can’t see many of them waiving their NTCs to go from a positive situation to Columbus.

    So what should he do? Accept someone’s third line RW and a seventh rounder? He could do that deal today with any team on Nash’s list. But since that’s not enough, so what’s a reasonable deal for Columbus?

  6. kicksave1980 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    bcisleman, you hit it right on the head.

    A lot of people are coming out and saying that the Blue Jackets need to reduce their demands for Rick Nash. To that, I say…why? The Blue Jackets don’t need to do anything. Rick Nash is a premier player in the NHL, who is under contract for a LONG time. If the Blue Jackets want to ask for the moon, they can do that, and Nash can either play or sit. Regardless of what most people seem to think, Howson holds all of the cards in this deal. Someone will eventually cave and give CBJ what it wants. If not, Nash can look forward to 6 more years in Columbus.

    I’m not a Blue Jackets fan, but the other thing that burns me about this whole thing is that Rick Nash just signed an 8 year deal. Yes, CBJ is terrible and is being ran by incompetent management, but that hasn’t changed either way in the past 2 years.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      I say they need to reduce their demands based on my belief that Rick Nash isn’t as good as what many people are making him out to be. But since I’m in the minority I think that Howson needs to maximize the return on one of the few assets that he has.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      He needs to reduce his demands because Columbus is better off trading Nash for picks and prospects than going forward with a captain that everyone knows doesn’t want to be there.

      Nobody is going to give up the top prospect or young player in their system for Nash. Not now, not ever. I’m sure he can find a team willing to give him a very fair package for Nash but instead he insists on including names like Skinner and Kreider. That’s just not very smart. Take a very good package instead of a great one and move on with the rebuild.

      • kicksave1980 - Jul 5, 2012 at 11:53 PM

        I would agree that is isn’t very smart if Howson HAD to trade Nash, but he doesn’t. Nash has put the Blue Jackets in a corner. He’ll only accept a trade to a handful of teams, which lessens his value even more. He doesn’t want to be there? So what. He’s under contract for six more years. Howson is smart for holding out, no matter how long it takes to get a decent return. This deal could break this franchise permanently if the return doesn’t pan out.

        No amount of mid-level prospects and 3rd line players are worth Rick Nash, even if he is unhappy and sulking.

        As for prospects, no matter what they’re ranked before they ever step onto the ice in the NHL, very few of them are ever going to materialize into the player that Rick Nash currently is. So no, Howson doesn’t need to reduce his demands.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:05 AM

        If Howson didn’t let the world know that Nash wanted out then he wouldn’t have to trade Nash. But he chose to make that boneheaded so now the only thing that makes sense is to deal Nash and continue the rebuild.

        Both Nash and management agreed to his current contract, so Nash is well within his rights to do exactly what he’s doing. If they didn’t want this scenario to arise they shouldn’t have agreed to the no-trade provision.

        I’m sure Howson could get a very good return for Nash, but he’s holding out for an unbelievable one and he’s probably not going to get it. He needs to realize this, take the best offer on the table, and move on with he rebuilding of this trainwreck of a team.

  7. ray2013 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    If he didn’t want to be there, he could have pulled a Suter and waited until he was a UFA and gone wherever he wanted for whatever the market would pay.

    • claysbar - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      He wanted/wants to be there. that’s why he signed the contract he did. It’s just kinda hard to stay when your boss throws you under the bus in front of your teammates, fans and media.

      • ray2013 - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:19 AM

        Nash is the star of a small-market team that hasn’t been successful. He took the money to the the star, he should take everything that comes with being the star, just like Sid takes his lumps. Or do you think that Sid should be able to just dictate what the Penguins should do, and if he doesn’t like it, he should be allowed to walk away and force the Penguins to take pennies on the dollar?

  8. ecmar2000 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Should we even assume Howson has a cell phone, with a minutes plan?

    See: him not even putting in a phone call to inquire about Dion Phaneuf, every UFA goalie available for the past 3 seasons (“Steve Mason is my franchise goalie”), et al…

    Why does the NHL’s WORST GM still even have a job?

    • ray2013 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      I think Steve Tambellini would challenge for that title. Outside of selecting first overall three drafts in a row, I can’t think of any move that he’s made that has improved the team. Khabibulin? Nope. Belanger? No. Giving Hemsky $5 mill a year when he was 187th leading scorer in the NHL? No.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:37 PM

        Also taking months to ultimately hire your associate head coach from the year before screams of a guy who tried to hire people but kept getting rejected.

      • ray2013 - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

        Good point. I’m not sold on the Oilers brass, outside of making some easy #1 selections that anyone, even someone as lame as me, could make successfully. You would hope that they have a higher standard than that.

  9. capesouth - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I hope something happens. He is inevitably going to leave..just a matter of time. And beyond the pure entertainment of trading such a big name, it is best for both the blue jackets and nash that a deal be completed. Neither of them are going to make any real progress with the current situation. get it done so we can all criticize the move..

  10. t16rich - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Columbus fans should ask for their owners to sell the team to someone who cares. How does Scott Howson even have a job anymore? The Ken Hitchcock firing which led to the non renewal of Claude Noel should have been enough for this guy to lose his job. The clear cut sign your GM sucks, is if his job relies on one trade. How ownership is putting up with this clown is beyond me. Maybe he will prove me wrong and get what he wants, but Rick Nash certainly isn’t worth what he wants.

    • capesouth - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      I honestly think there are a couple teams that should be moved to Canada. I don’t see how Columbus makes sense in the NHL at all. I know they must have stacks of research to back their decision to create a team there but come on…it friggin Columbus, OH. Not exactly hockey country. Get a team back in Quebec…I saw something about Seattle trying to get one done..that intrigues me and might work but Columbus doesn’t At least go somewhere there is either 1) hockey fanatics or 2) a lot of $. Blue Jackets were screwed from the start…Phoenix needs to move too..hence the troubles they are having.

      • t16rich - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        Bettman’s involvement with NHL franchises is like my dog in a field……… hanging and rolling around in crap, refusing to leave the area. He is going to ride Columbus out for as long as possible. Hence why Columbus is getting the 2013 all-star game, even though Anaheim, Nashville or Phoenix have never hosted it, but all have had more on ice success than Columbus. It has also been over 30 years since either New Jersey or Washington have hosted the game. I could care less about the all star game, but this time it seems like an effort to get a struggling team more fans. Jackets fans have died off quick in recent years. No one can sit there and tell me that advertising season ticket packages starting at $14 per game is a good thing. You don’t advertise that to brag about how cheap your tickets are, you advertise that in hopes of getting fans back so you can raise ticket prices for next year. Columbus is the most non-talked about crap franchise in the NHL. They have had brutal ownership though, so it might be a lot deeper than what I think.

  11. istallion - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Habs fan here- would he take Scott Gomez, Weber, and a 1st round draft pick?

  12. malkinrulez - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Well said bcisleman

  13. travishenryskid - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Nash will only go to a handful of teams. This is the problem. If I know Rick Nash will only go to my team, and maybe 1 or 2 others, I lowball the crap out of Howson. CBJ fans will blame their GM, but this is Nash’s fault. If you don’t like where you get a decent return for, then stay here, shut up and play.

  14. rushledger - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    A team needs 4 qualifications to get Nash
    1 the cap space obviously
    2 they have to be on Nash’s “list”
    3 prospects in that organization that their willing to part with
    4 a roster player in return

    New York rangers and Ottawa are the only teams that have prospects they’re willing to part with not including guys like turris and that college kid the rangers had in the playoffs.

    If your Carolina of San Jose why would you part with coture or skinner? Cap hit is low they’re still getting better and their points are pretty good compared to mr 7.8 million a year. This is gonna drag out for a while unless Howson understand how difficult taking on a player like that is in addition to giving up your future.

  15. supr49er - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I wouldn’t give up Couture and neither will Doug Wilson. I wish we had better prospects to trade because Nash playing alongside Jumbo would be killer.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:38 PM

      Until the playoffs…

  16. cowboyscanada - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Does Montreal have a shot at him-?

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM


  17. joelwrobinson - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    He’ll be a shark. One way or another.

  18. andyreidisfat - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    I still think he ends up here in Philly with the Flyers giving up Couts. As much as i like Couts if it is him and a couple picks for Nash then i say do it. Nash would be close to a 60 goal guy with Giroux and even though i think Couts could be great some day, who knows if he will be.

    Also i think the truth is you never get fair compensation for superstars. It just doesn’t happen. I think you take what you can get and move on. If the Jackets were smart they would take a bunch of picks and move on. It would save them money in the short run and allow them to build a team for the future the right way with drafts picks. They could probably get 3-4 firsts.

    • atb4 - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:24 PM

      60 goal guy? Only Ovechkin and Stamkos have reached that plateau since the lockout.
      I’m having trouble seeing him score 50, regardless of who his center is.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        I can see Nash scoring 40 or 50 with a solid team, but 60 is absurd.

    • claysbar - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      For the record, Giroux is good, but just because he made the EA Sports cover, Flyers beating the Pens does not make him the greatest thing since sliced bread. When he wins anything, I’ll be the first to give him props. Until then, please have a realistic outlook on the teams talent. I AM a Pens fan and yes Cros does cry too much but when Giroux can hold a candle to his talent level, gimme a call.

  19. paperkid96 - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    I think Howson is forgetting one thing though too. Nash isn’t playing up to his 7.8 mil/yr salary and is disgruntled, that cant be good for the team. Hell having someone taking a 7.8 mil salary for 60-70 point guy is a favor. His team needs a lot of work and he is looking for a Herschel Walker deal. Not going to happen.

  20. pone27 - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Howson really has a strong right to be asking a lot for Nash. He is one of the top goal scorers in the NHL. When that contract was signed, it was because Nash is a guy that you would NEVER consider moving unless the player demands it. Unfortunately for Nash, if you want a long contract and top dollar, you have to be lenient on what team you will go play for.

    Like I have been constantly saying, Nash is worth a first rounder, another first or 2nd rounder or top prospect and a top 6 F with a high cap hit. Not many teams have that, and unfortunately Nash has to realize that there arent many teams that can do that.

  21. broadstbully33 - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    see the first minute of game 6 qf for your candle.

    • handsofsweed - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:43 PM

      Yeah, that was a sweet hit and goal Giroux scored. Not gonna lie. That said, Giroux’s career accomplishments so far can fit into Sid’s shirt pocket.

      And I mean that literally, as G’s career output in every statistical category is only a small fraction of Sid’s, even though they are only 4 months apart in age.

  22. atteckus - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    I suggest that Howson is overvaluing Nash, not because Nash is not a talent worthy of serious payback, but because his contract is an albatross. $42MM+ for 6 years to a 28 y/o who scores in the very good, not great, range, and has little playoff experience, is a tough nut to swallow for a competitive team with a full and strong roster. If Nash was signed for 4 more years at $5MM a piece, every team would be falling all over themselves to hand over top level prospects for him. When the B’s approached Howson, we were told the demand was Lucic, and two of the following three: Rask, Hamilton and/or Seguin. That’s quite frankly insane. Maybe if Nash were Stamkos, that kind of package would be warranted. Nash is worth alot, standing alone, but his contract subtracts from his trade value.

  23. theenutty - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Once again, alot of drama for a guy who ranked 59th in scoring, kind of the theme for this years free agent frenzy. Stupid money and/or demands for good players…not elite players. I think any team that sells the farm to get rick nash will regret their decision. Im beginning to think that smart GMs are standing pat, knowing the ufa market will make some great players available at the trade deadline.

  24. Nowhere Man - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    I think the whole notion of no trade clauses is whack. It should serve as if the team wants to trade you they can’t without your express consent. However I believe that if a player ASKS for a trade then they just waived their no-trade clause. You see all sorts of garbage like Heatley and now apparently Nash.

    You ask for the trade, you gave up that clause, buh bye.

  25. bwayblues79 - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    I have a feeling that, once Nash is finally moved, we’re all going to hear about the packages that the other teams offered and had rejected. At that point, Howson will either see the final nail driven into his coffin, or he will earn back a little respect from his fans and the league.

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