Rick Nash will finish this season with the Blue Jackets, but speculation over where he’ll play next season continues.

Expect Nash to remain a fixture in the rumor mill for a while.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash yesterday explained in a press conference his reasons for requesting a trade. “I was informed by management (in January) that there was a (planned) rebuild, a reshape, of the team, and I personally felt I could be a huge part of that, toward bringing assets in,” Nash said. “I think that was … in my view, what was the best thing for me, the organization and, personally, for my career.” Nash professed he still believed in the team’s ownership and management, that he loved being a Blue Jacket, loved the city and its fans. Howson has said he’ll try to move Nash this summer.

Michael Arace believes both sides aren’t making themselves look good with how they’ve been handling this situation.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Duhatschek believes Howson will find the return he wants for Nash in the off-season.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman suggests Nash may wish to expand his list of preferred destinations this summer, or at least, that’s what Blue Jackets management could be hoping for. The Nashville Predators made a big pitch for Nash, which didn’t include blueline prospect Ryan Ellis, but Friedman doubted Nash wanted to go there, or that the Blue Jackets would ship him to a divisional rival…Friedman also reported Toronto and Philadelphia had some interest in Minnesota goalie Josh Harding, but didn’t believe either club was overly serious…It’ll be interesting to see where Dustin Brown and the Kings go from here, after word got out management had spoken with a small number of teams about him…

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Nash speculation will ebb and flow between now and the end of the playoffs, then will rev up in earnest as the draft weekend approaches. We don’t know if Nash will expand his list of preferred destinations, or even how long it could take for the Blue Jackets to find the deal they want. One thing is certain: we haven’t heard the last of this story…The Wild have hinted at possibly re-signing Harding, but that remains to be seen, as he’s a UFA and might wish to test the market…There’s a school of thought the Kings might wish to push out Dustin Brown and hand the captaincy to Mike Richards.  I think Brown’s future with the Kings could be determined by two factors: if they make the playoffs, and if they do, how they perform.

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25 Responses to Latest Rick Nash News – February 29, 2012.

  1. Innovator says:

    I would hope for Hardings sake that he does no resign and. Finds a team looking for a starter.

    Nash did not make himself look bad with his statement. However if he let’s the media keep bringing it up and he discusses it further it could make him look worse. Hopefully he won’t field those questions now that he’s made his statement.

  2. DurtMCHurt says:

    I like how Dustin Brown handled the rumour. The day after he heard he was being “shopped” he went out and scored a hatty. I mean LA could have used that offence like 40 games ago, but still, nothing says I want to stay like his performance that night.

  3. 36crazyfists says:

    It’s clear based on Nash’s responses that he wants out of CLB. The “If I get traded it will help the team rebuild get assets” is bologna! Hockey players are great at avoiding questions and providing an answer that beats around the bush. I cant really blame Nash for wanting to leave that franchise though at the same time.

    I truly believe in the off season he goes to NYR. The Rangers would’ve had him at the deadline but the move would’ve have changed the team chemistry too much for their run to the cup. I dont think SJ has the pieces necessary to acquire Nash, but who knows what happens by the draft.

  4. Greg Schuler says:

    I have written it before on this site – why anyone would want to “upgrade” to Mike Richards as the captain is beyond me. He was anything but an off-ice leader in Philadelphia after being “knighted” by Clarke. That’s not to say Brown is the bee-knees either, but that importing Mike Richards for his “leadership” is folly.

  5. Greg Schuler says:

    RE: Nash

    I don’t know if the deals will improve in the off-season – a team has to believe that Nash will be worth his cap hit and actually improve the team he to which he is traded. While he is a very good player, he is being paid like a great player and I don’t know at his age if that is warranted.

    The problem is the no-movement clause – teams shouldn’t be willing to give up much for Nash as long as they know he will dictate where he lands. And rightly, Howson shouldn’t just accept any old deal for his franchise player – quantity for quality deals rarely work (Hossa, Thornton, Heatley).

  6. UnknownColumbusFan says:

    No one can expect Nash to throw away his career because the Blue Jackets management minus Craig Patrick doesn’t know what they are doing when it comes to building a team around their only All-Star.

  7. Dan says:

    After watching Nash for years, I really don’t think he will respond well to Torts’ style, so I don’t think NYR is a good fit at all. Not to mention Howson’s asking price. Nashvilel would be a good fit but Howson would be flat out stupid to trade hm there. While it would be best to send him to the East, I believe he will end up in SJ, although it remains to be seen if the Sharks have enough prospects to make a deal.

  8. NikK says:

    Please let’s not talk about Nash until the off season. At this point in time he is completely irrelevant.
    He will be moved in the summer. To whom and for what remains to be seen and speculated upon.

    As for Harding: No guarentee he can be a starting goalie when he goes to another team. Just ask Dan Ellis. Harding hasn’t even been able to push Backstrom for the starting role…. so I’m not sure what everyone elects to get out of him.

    Goaltending is the most volitile position. A guy who has not had the chance to run with a startin grole for a season is still a question mark, regardless of his talent. The same goes for Bernier and Schneider. I’d be leary to trade away a whole bunch of assets for one of these guys, or to sign one and hope they can be your answer in net.

  9. NikK says:

    *expects (typo)

  10. Chris says:

    Hi Greg …unfortunately ..your wrong …becuase now everyone knows it was Nash that wnted to be moved out…… and now all the teams will not offer much because they know its a bad divorce and that Howson HAS to move Nash out or the PR will be terrible especially during the ALL STAR games events in Columbus …….the drafet is where this will happen but the asking price now has just dropped severly for Howson…….he should have taken the best offer he had at 2:00 pm on the deadline ….You will see !!!

    If you drop Nash on any of the teams that he was willing to go to …hes and instant impact…instant!!!

  11. Chris says:

    Hi Greg once again disagree with the Hossa …Thorton …Heatley comments…..those deals have worked our very well indeed…..

    #1
    Hossa went to the cup final 3 years in a row with every team he went to and was always in impact to get then to the big show …he has silently been one of the best players in the legue for the last 5 years !

    #2
    Thonton leaving Boston has allowed Boston the freedom to rebuild and finally win the cup ……..and he has not been able to do the same for San Jose with a very good team ……….enough said ..good on Boston

    #3
    Heatley has dropped off the face of the planet …..Michalek for Ottawa has been one of the fastest rising stars on a team that was suppose to be DEAD LAST at the begining of this year …and here he sits one of the best point guys in the league……so …….

    .not sure how you can say that Nash will not impact any team in a true hunt that has better quality players surrounding him …….he is a star on the worst team in the league with NO ONE TO PLAY WITH

  12. bickleton wigglesworth III says:

    I think the Brown thing really got overblown. It’s possible he was mentioned in a trade scenario or two, sure, but he was hardly being shopped to the whole league. And there’s a good chance the information came to light simply to motivate Brown and the Kings -which seems to have had some effect.

    If the Kings miss the playoffs Brown’s name will likely resurface in rumors and the Kings may in fact make him available in the right deal, but if he’s moved it leave the Kings without any sort of power forward so I don’t see them trading him unless they get back another top six banging winger.

    As far as his leadership skills, they have taken a hit this year. They needed more from him and he hasn’t fully stepped up but he’s still sort of young and has some growing left to do. And it’s not like a player has never been stripped of the captaincy only to continue with the team and be successful.

  13. Liddy5 says:

    I agree with Bickleton – the whole Brown situation seems like a prototypical “let’s float his name out there to motivate him” and it’s worked extremely well.

    SJ might be able to make a move for Nash, but unless they make a deep run in the playoffs this season, it might not be Doug Wilson making that deal.

  14. Obe1 says:

    If I was GM of a team on the list I would first take a run at Parise. If that never worked then I would make a pitch for Nash. But like I said before I wouldnt give the moon for this guy. If the jackets really want to rebuild they should want picks and prospects.

  15. mojo19 says:

    Would’ve liked to have seen Harding come to Toronto. Why not? The season is basically a wash now. I mean a couple more losses on this slide and we’ll have to play close to perfect hockey in the final 15 or 16 games to make it…

  16. mojo19 says:

    Here’s a list of 35 interesting UFA’s for anyone interested
    http://nhlkvasni.blogspot.com/2012/02/35-interesting-ufas-for-july-1st-2012.html

  17. lakings88 says:

    The Kings will not trade Brown Unless they dont make the playoffs or lose in the 1st round , But will trade for a 1st rounder and propect most likely. His cap isnt a issue its only 3.2 for a player like Brown, Thats a steel so its not about money if it is they should trade Williams 3.1 ……But there is going to be some changes in the summer if the kings dont get past the 1st round…I read that kings GM does want to get younger so i dont see Stoll, Penner, Frasir, Parse, geting signed after this season I also see them trading Greene, Williams, Bernier and Maybe Brown this summer also after the carter trade they will not go after Semin or Parise due to the cap …..But overall the kings are in very good shape and with some trades and draft this summer they will be better next season !

  18. Greg Schuler says:

    @Chris:

    And Atlanta, Ottawa and Boston had little to show for the quantity trades they conducted for their superstars. That’s the point – the team getting the best player usually ends up with the best results.

    Hossa’s return is probably what haunts Howson – Hossa is in the same situation as Nash and the return package did squat to elevate Atlanta (now Winnipeg). Miss on a superstar trade and you potentially cripple the franchise.

    Boston moving Thornton was not part of a rebuild but to rid themselves of a wavering superstar who wouldn’t play the game the Bruins wanted him to play (and it took him some time to figure that out in San Jose). Sturm and Stuart did nothing for Boston and their failure is what brought in Chiarelli and the eventual rebuilding and formation of the current roster.

    Heatley – well, Heatley did nothing for San Jose or Minnesota, but Michalek hasn’t replaced Heatley and the indecision around hurt Ottawa for the past few seasons.

    Again, trading a superstar doesn’t typically work for the sending team, so Columbus should hold out for the right package.

  19. Greg Schuler says:

    @Chris (again)

    If Nash holds out or refuses to waive his no movement clause, then he is stuck in the same spot he is in now and lobbied to leave. I don’t know if the offers will be better than the deadline offers, but Nash is not in complete control – Columbus would be happy to keep him and let him sulk his way through the season – it’s not like that would make them any worse.

    I bear no grudge to either side – both are abiding by the contractual rights negotiated with the player and union. I just don’t see that Columbus had to make a move simply to make a move.

  20. Hockey Buffalo says:

    The Blue Jackets’ problem extend beyond retaining Rick Nash or getting what they can for him. The team has struggled to make the playoffs, lacks the front office to make wise hockey operation decisions. and lacks the right players to compete for the Stanley Cup.

    The Blue Jackets should conduct a search for a new General Manager to undo Scott Howson’s mess, assess the team’s current players and farm system, and work diligently in the draft, minor trades, and free agent markets to change the team’s makeup.

  21. NoBull says:

    Jackets might not get more at the draft for Nash. He still controls where he goes and after the GM basically hung him out to dry by saying he asked to be traded, his list might not be any longer and might even get shorter.

    Teams at that point might also be thinking about Parise, Suter and maybe even Semin since they likely will have a better idea if they are going to hit the market and think that they can get one of those guys with a contract they like and maybe a better cap hit with giving up any assets.

  22. NoBull says:

    *without giving up any assets* sorry

  23. mad dog says:

    ” Michalek hasn’t replaced Heatley ”

    Michalek – 45 points in 60 games
    Heatley – 45 points in 63 games

    Seems like he replaced him just fine.

  24. prattleofontario says:

    @mad dog, no argument whatsoever. He replaced Heatley just fine; as well he is cheaper, younger, with a better attitude and with a face I don’t want to put my fist through.

  25. Steve says:

    Don’t the Sabres have a couple of 1st round picks along with a 2nd rounder? Package that with Roy or Stafford and Leopold and it might be something for Columbus to think about.

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