Rick Nash – This Is A Fine Mess You Put Us In


If you aren’t fully versed in the Nash-Trade Deadline goings on, I am not going to fully recap the situation as it has been done in many other places. Quick version is that up until about 4:15 yesterday afternoon the working impression in the Jackets community was that management approached Rick Nash about waiving his no-trade-clause if the team could get an acceptably high return. Faced with a horrible season and the prospect of rebuilding or reshaping, or whatever, the team both sides seemed to agree that this was a reasonable plan. The Jackets would give up on their most recognizable and bankable player in exchange for a package of players and picks that would make the team competitive sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, the impression was that Nash was the victim, the one who was approached. Quotes in the media since have had Nash being drained and tired of the speculation. His agent came out this past weekend and stated the list of acceptable teams would not get bigger in the summer – that should have been a clue.

At his post-deadline press conference, GM Scott Howson dropped the bomb that Nash had asked for the trade. The Jackets fan community has now split. Some believe this was a desperate and classless move by Howson that does nothing to improve the Jackets bargaining position. Others view at as a betrayal by a supposedly loyal player.

I recommend two articles to anybody reading up on this situation. First, Canadan82 at the Carry the Flag blog almost read my mind. Second, see Nicholas J. Cotsonika’s article on why Howson would go public.

I would add that one of the things that really angered me yesterday, and still does now, is Nash’s attitude. He has said that he is drained and tired of the situation, that he wants it to be over. Except, HE asked for it. Nash wasn’t asked to waive his NTC and he said yes. He asked to be put in this situation, and it was draining. If Mr. Nash thinks this level of scrutiny is draining, then he better not waive his no-trade to go to Toronto or New York. They have a few more reporters and absolutely no compunctions about tearing apart athletes who underperform. Take heed Mr. Streaky Goal Scorer.

Make no mistake, I respected Rick Nash but was reluctantly ready to part ways to improve the team. Now, I want Jackets management to get the very most they can out of Nash this summer and get him off the team. Over the years we have heard of country club atmosphere and lack of compete. One thing, one person has remained. Coaches, management, the roster, all of these have changed but Rick Nash has remained. Move him along and let’s begin again.

Does management need to change? Maybe yes and maybe no. For every event that one person views as a mistake or missed opportunity, a success can be probably be pointed to. Drafting is getting better; unfortunately building a team through draft picks takes a while. Look at Springfield and the Jackets roster now. There is young talent there. Even the Oilers who have picked first in the draft two years in a row won’t be hoisting the Cup this year. If I had a vote I would for management stability backed by added professional depth. Use Craig Patrick, get more like him, and if possible see what Todd Richards can do as a full time coach next year.