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Columnist: Blue Jackets should keep Nash if they don’t get a good enough offer for him

Jul 9, 2012, 9:17 AM EDT

Rick Nash Getty Images

One thing we haven’t heard anyone suggest in the Rick Nash saga is having the team hang onto him if a trade can’t be worked out.

Until now.

Rob Oller of The Columbus Dispatch suggests GM Scott Howson do just that and the reasoning is… Well, it’s interesting. Even though you’d think things with Nash and the team would get sour in such a situation, Oller says things could work out anyhow even with bad blood.

But even if Nash’s professionalism goes south, so what? Negative locker-room issues often are overrated. Many examples exist in which teammates tore at each other behind the scenes but still excelled on the field. That is not to say disruption should be sought; the 2011 Boston Red Sox showed that dysfunction and drinking in the clubhouse don’t always mix.

Context counts. Bickering teammates is a different problem than players barking at management, which is different from a disgruntled star who complains about his predicament. The sport matters, too. Football seems to benefit/suffer more than most sports from good/bad chemistry.

Jackets fans did their part to show they loved Nash at the end of last season in wanting him to stick around, but bringing him back after a contemptuous summer just sounds like a really bad idea. Nash is done with Columbus, the fans are (likely) done with having him there, and his teammates might not like having a guy who doesn’t have his heart into the current team.

Sure things could work out and everyone plays nice, but does the team take a chance in torpedoing their season from the get-go like that? Hard to see it working out that way.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    I would agree, you have the guy locked up, no need to take pennies on the dollar

  2. noisetheorem - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Torpedoing their seasons seems to be the only thing CBJ management has proven to be good at.

  3. theolgoaler - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Howson (apparently) wants the moon and the stars for Nash; no way were the ‘Canes going to send Skinner to CBJ, and the other rumored asking prices for Nash were equally non-starters. Columbus is not about to get everything they want in any Nash trade, but even a “double” deal (rather than a “home run” deal) would improve the club overall.

  4. dutchman1350 - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    I would keep him at this point. Nash is a nice guy, so he can’t be that big of a pain in the locker room.

    Amazing how people say he is over rated, yet he has played on the top line for team Canada for a number of years.

  5. rpiotr01 - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    They are so far away from contending, they should trade him for the best mix of farm talent and draft picks they can get. Howson’s demand for big time current NHL talent is baffling. Set yourself up for 5 years from now, because they are not even close. They have no real core to speak of at this point.

  6. eyeh8goodell - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    That columnist doesn’t make a single coherent point or cite a single example for why it would or could work. The fact is that guys with better career stats than Nash are signing deals for less market value than Howson is demanding……..or being traded for less. Nash is simply not worth a bevy of players and picks. There’s a good reason why no team has bowed to Howson’s ridiculous demands. He loses more leverage every day as he becomes more desperate to deal while other teams are filling thier holes elsewhere.

    So quite simply: lol @ the Blue Jackets and thier idiot GM

    • bcisleman - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      Not only is it NOT a bad idea, its a must. Howson MUST be prepared to have Nash report and suspend him and toll his contract if he does not. If he shows he’s ready to do that, both Nash and the various suitors–at least the serious ones–will change their tunes.

  7. ron05342 - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Well, what do you expect? He is a columnist in Columbus. It’s not like the guy could get a job in New York or Los Angeles…you get what you pay for, and in this case, an idiotic opinion completely without merit.

    • handsofsweed - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      Wait, where am I? What happened? There aren’t any idiots in NY or LA? When did that happen? Hmmm. YOU don’t live in NY or LA, do you?

    • east96st - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      ron – you’re an idiot. I was born and raised in Manhattan. I used the NY sports pages to train my dogs. Columbus ain’t NYC, far from it, but it’s not like there’s a single sportswriter in NYC that a chimp couldn’t replace tomorrow. As for LA, except for playoff games, does anyone there even pay attention to sports, let alone sportswriters? I went to UCLA vs USC football game years ago and no one showed up until the second quarter and most left before the fourth. Let me know when LA is sports town in anything but name only.

  8. ineedmorehossa - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    it’s too bad that this fiasco is what Rick Nash is going to be remembered for…..

  9. mrpickled - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    And so goes the losing stubborn owners of Ohio sports teams

  10. east96st - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Joe – What you’re overlooking here is the smoking gun. The Dispatch is partial owner of the Jackets. Very often what they print is based on marching orders from CBJ management. This column was meant as a warning shot to Rick and his agent. Either expand your list of teams or be prepared to be forced to stay. This has now, officially, become ugly. As for the fans being done with Rick, I couldn’t disagree more. Great player, outstanding guy. Fire Howson and Priest and keep Rick and you’ll see season ticket sales go up. Plus, I suspect if you clean out the front office, Rick may be more willing to stick around. He’s tired of the team being run by assclowns and no one sane who has followed the Jackets can blame him.

  11. sergeikremlin - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Howson has been getting good offers, guaranteed. He just hasn’t been getting ridiculous offers. At some point, Nash will either have to expand his list of teams, or Howson will have to take the best offer. The last thing you want is for this to drag into the season. Similar situation in Vancouver with Luongo.

  12. dannythebisforbeast - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    What he has been asking is ridiculous. If the writer means keep him if you can’t get what currently asking. No need to worry because only a fool would part with what Columbus wants for Nash right now. The problem is the only fool who would make such a deal is running the blue jackets. Personally I don’t see him being worth close to what Columbus thinks he is.

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