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