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Michael Peca seems to understand what Scott Howson is dealing with

Jul 8, 2012, 2:47 PM EDT

Michael Peca Getty Images

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is still trying to find a way to deal Rick Nash. His demands are high, maybe too high, but he does have someone that understands him in former Jackets forward Michael Peca.

Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch breaks down whether or not the price for Nash is too high and Peca tells him it’s all part of the process of trying to make a trade.

“Scott is trying to rob somebody, and he has that right,” said Michael Peca, a longtime NHL player, including with Columbus, and now an analyst for TSN, a Canadian sports channel. “And you know some teams are trying to get Nash from (Howson) without giving up anything of consequence.”

If you scoped out what any armchair GM on the Internet was cooking up to land Nash for their favorite team, you know that to be true. Then again, when Howson is asking for guys like Jeff Skinner or Logan Couture or Chris Kreider, those are deals that just aren’t going to materialize.

It’s a high-stakes game of chicken at this point and Howson seems determined not to swerve out of the way until he gets what he wants. If that means going head-on into the season with Nash still in Columbus, so be it. How delightfully awkward.

  1. bcisleman - Jul 8, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Peca is right and Howson is doing exactly what he should be doing. The key is whether Nash is prepared to play for CBJ again this season or, perhaps, holdout and lose salary. If he is not, his list will expand and teams like OTT that are prepared to make fair offers will be in the hunt. Then we will see whether deals for Kreider, Couture or Skinner will materialize.

    • ecmar2000 - Jul 8, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      Did anyone ever consider the connection between Peca and Howson? Let’s not forget Howson brought Peca in after he was pretty much past his prime – just one of seven (yep, seven) former Oilers Howson brought in from the Oil – nice creativity, eh, SH? (ugh).

      Let’s also not forget that Peca sat out an entire season:

      For the 2000–01 season, Peca and the Buffalo Sabres could not agree on a contract. Peca went without a contract the entire season. Peca was later traded to the New York Islanders for Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt.

      Despite the apparent bad blood, in the summer of 2007, then unrestricted free agent (UFA) Peca told the Buffalo News that he’d be willing to come back to the Sabres. However, the Sabres’ front office did not sign him despite the loss of veteran co-captain centers Daniel Brière and Chris Drury.

      So, when defending Howson – you know, the guy who took a team from its only playoff berth, orchestrated the firing of that ‘old codger’ (who recently won the Jack Adams award), insisted on staying with Steve Mason (3 years, running), hiring a head coach with no NHL head coaching experience and a coaching staff with zero coaching experience, at any professional level, who traded – when everyone in the league knew the guy was a clubhouse cancer – for Jeff Carter, who acquired Wisniewski for $33 million (a massive overpayment), led the team down to the 30th (last) position, threw the beloved face of the franchise under the bus and has blamed everyone BUT himself for the failures – consider who it is who’s defending him.

      I guess he found one person who feels that he has some competence (bangs head)

    • stakex - Jul 8, 2012 at 6:10 PM


      First of all, we don’t actually know what Ottawa offered, or if Columbus was willing to accept it. We know that the deal never got all the way becasue Nash shot it down… and who can blame him? I sure as hell wouldn’t go to Ottawa if I was him. So lets not say that Ottawa was making a “fair” offer, because we don’t know that for sure. Its actually far more likely that Columbus was trying to blow that up just to scare the teams that actually have a chance to land Nash.

      “Fair” is also very subjective. Columbus sure as hell isn’t asking a fair price, that much we know. Nash is a decent player, but hes no super star. Hes worth a solid player, a secondary player, a good prospect, and maybe a 1st round pick. Yet Columbus is trying to get 2-3 top players, some prospects, AND a 1st round pick for Nash. That might sound “fair” to a Columbus fan, but its a funny joke to anyone else.

      And whats with people thinking Nash would sit out if hes not traded? That would NEVER happen. Hes not going to walk away from $7.8 million just to make a point. The guys playing next year, its just a matter of where. If you honestly think the guy would sit out if hes not traded your an idiot.

      Side Note: Deals for Kreider, Couture or Skinner will NEVER materialize. In order for that to happen, they would have to be damn near strait up trades for those players… which won’t happen since Columbus wants those players plus several others.

  2. rockthered1286 - Jul 8, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Howson surely has the right to ask for the stars, but there is no way in hell he lands any of the players he countered for. Worst case scenario he’s looking for 2 starters a top young prospect and a first round pick in exchange for Nash, a 28 y/o with declining numbers over the past 3 seasons. While Nash is surely good, in no way can Howson justify his demands, and the fans must be getting restless. For all of the turned down offers, sheer arrogance and lack of action to this point, I almost hope to see this last through the trade deadline and Nash leave unrestricted with nothing to show for it.

  3. east96st - Jul 8, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Let’s be perfectly honest here, Scott Howson is not a NHL quality GM. We know it, Nash and his agent knows it, and, unfortunately for the Jackets, every other NHL GM knows it too. The ONLY one who does NOT seem to know it is the Jackets owner, McConnell. Howson lost what little leverage he had when HE, NOT Nash, announced that Nash wanted out. He threw their best player under the bus to try to save his own ass and now he handcuffed himself in all trade negotiations. ANY of us screwed up our job that large and we would be unemployed. At this point, all the blame has to shift to Jackets fans. Recent practices have been packed with cheering fans. When an owner does not, and will not, realize how badly his team is being mismanaged, the ONLY thing that brings them back to reality is to lose fan support. By continuing to support the team, the fans send the message, “Sure you suck. But the cash will just keep on flowing, so don’t feel any pressure to change your ways.”. It’s a message Jackets ownership is getting loud and clear. The same failed policies, the same failed front office, continue to run the franchise into the ground. As long as the fans continue to show up, nothing will change because their is NO financial incentive to change. Columbus, you screwed yourself. Enjoy god only knows how many more years of Howson and Priest incompetence. And when you’re sitting there in Nationwide Arena watching the Jackets lose again, surrounded by fans wearing the jerseys of the opposing team because season ticket holders are trying to make pennies on the dollar for their tickets, remember who is ultimately to blame. You are. Your owner told you to your face he thinks the problem is “all on the ice”. Funny how those “problems” had so much success in the playoffs for other teams. Yep, at this point, Jackets woes are strictly self inflicted wounds caused by, ironically, the same people who love the team the most.

  4. Doesnotmatter - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Nash is an elite power forward. He’s got the size and the skill. 674 NHL games and he scored 289 goals and 547 points. With Columbus. He’s played 54 games for Team Canada and scored 26 goals and 53 points. He’s won both the Olympic and World Championship gold with Canada. Put him on a line with a playmaking center and he’ll score 40 plus goals. I’m not even a Columbus fan and I don’t know why I keep defending Howson because he made some questionable decisions as a GM. Like trading for Jeff Carter and the contract given to Wisniewski, but he’s doing the right thing here. You don’t let a player like Nash go for some 3rd or 4th line plugs and prospects that might never get to play in the NHL. No way, you demand Skinner, Kreider or Couture. The Wild just gave huge contracts to two players that are not as good as Nash. Imagine the Caps trying to trade Ovechkin. Would you call McPhee unreasonable if he asked for Skinner?

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