Are the Maple Leafs in the bidding for Rick Nash? Do the Blue Jackets want a goalie back in any return for Nash? Read on for the latest.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports of the sub-plots involved as the Blue Jackets field offers for Rick Nash. He claims Nash has provided GM Scott Howson a list of teams he’d prefer being dealt to, but Howson is also speaking with other clubs not on this list. Blue Jackets senior advisor Craig Patrick is doing the bulk of the work on this but Howson has the final say. They’re seeking value in return but not limited to any one position.  Portzline claims many around the league believe the Bruins are trying to put together a deal for Nash. The Rangers and Kings are also linked to Nash. Michael Arace, meanwhile, believes the Jackets are “behind the 8-ball” by dangling their star on the trade market this close to the deadline.

SPORTSNET.CA:reports Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke met with Howson in New York this morning. The site speculates any deal between the two teams could involve Luke Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Nikolai Kulemin “and possibly James Reimer”.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Burke denied he was talking trade with Howson, claiming he was there on other business.

ESPN.COM: Katie Strang reports the Blue Jackets have not made a demand for a goaltender. She also reported Nash remained tight-lipped about his situation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, it seems the lack of a goalie in an offer for Nash isn’t a deal breaker, provided they get a quality return. Can’t see the Bruins making a serious pitch for Nash, as I don’t believe they need him. I also believe the Leafs shouldn’t pursue Nash, as he won’t resolve their defensive and goaltending issues, but that won’t stop Leafs Nation from wondering if Burke could pull off another blockbuster. The Kings still seem the best destination right now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where Nash, or Carter, wind up. Shaping up to be an interesting week!