NHL Trade Deadline

February 28, 2012 by staff 

NHL Trade Deadline, Columbus’ unsuccessful bid to deal Rick Nash turned nasty Monday when Jackets GM Scott Howson announced after the deadline that Nash had been the one to demand a trade. The Rick Nash soap opera is anything but over.

While the Bruins, Predators and Canucks all made strong moves on the final day of the NHL trading season to bolster their chances of making a run at the historic Stanley Cup this spring, the story of Nash and his impending divorce from the Columbus Blue Jackets remained the story of the day.

And of this week. And probably of this summer. That’s not to discount what Nashville did to not only enhance its playoff chances but also buttress its effort to convince star blueliners Shea Weber and Ryan Suter to stay, or that Vancouver’s bold move for brawn ended up sending emerging centre Cody Hodgson to Buffalo in a move that will leave many on the Lower Mainland rather unhappy.

But Nash – what a story that has become. Its not just that a trade didn’t happen on Monday. It’s that Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson chose (unwisely) to announce after the deadline that Nash had been the one to demand a trade and set the events in motion that ended in a rather inconclusive way.

Why would Howson do that, knowing fully it would outrage Nash and his agent, Joe Resnick? What could be gained?

Close observers of the Columbus situation immediately suggested that fans will take Nash’s side in this dispute, not the team’s, and recognize that this latest episode is more a confirmation of the organization’s ineptitude than the latest example of a wealthy athlete’s greed and sense of self-importance in a sports world gone mad.

Few teams could manage to make a $7.8 million-a-year athlete the good guy in this kind of stalemate, but the Jackets have managed to do it.

That’s not to say Howson, and his special adviser Craig Patrick, should have capitulated and sent the club’s captain to New York or Toronto or San Jose in a mediocre deal, like that which sent Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey from Atlanta once upon a time and left the Thrashers, now the Winnipeg Jets, with nothing to show for their departed superstar.

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