Had a Bad Day

Yesterday’s NHL Trade Deadline was a snore.  I thought Twitter might melt from all the ennui and complaints, or Alyonka Larianov’s increasingly desperate attempts to hold our interest.  Here’s how things shook out [link].

John Scott was “shocked” to be traded to the Rangers, and was in the middle of doing laundry when the call came.  Bonus points for Foxy Fridays Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, who led the Avalanche love-fest for players both coming and going by Tweeting their teammates hello and goodbye simultaneously.  Brian Rolston goes back to Boston, where he played 4+ seasons.  The winners are anyone leaving the Islanders or Jets, and anyone going to the Canucks.  The abstainer was The Washington Capitals.  The loser?  Rick Nash.  Let’s discuss.

The Washington Capitals made zero trades, surprising a lot of people.  This seems to say that GMGM either 1) thinks the team is fine the way it is or 2) has given up on this season.  In my opinion, it’s more likely that no one was buying at his prices.  The Caps chemistry is flawed and inconsistent, but it doesn’t need to be burned to the ground.  GMGM showed continued/expensive faith in stars and fragile pandas (Sasha Fierce, Mike Green).

Misplaced faith?  Ask me in six weeks when the Caps don’t make the playoffs.  But what they had to sell (Knuble, Hamrlik) really only matches the Rolston/Mottau deal, and that was for prospects.  The Caps need players who can deliver immediately.  To get those guys, GMGM would have had to give up some of the few things that are actually working for the Caps.  I don’t want Laich, Chimera, Perreault or anyone else moving when they seem to be the only hopes left for March and April.

Then there’s poor Rick Nash.   Chuck and I are biased because we love his smiley lumberjack ways.  Also because he’s incredibly talented and seems like a genuinely nice guy.  But he’s no fool.  All Nash has to show for 9 seasons with the Blue Jackets is one trip to the playoffs, swept by the Red Wings.  The only place this captain is going is down with his ship – so he finally wanted off.

Columbus GM Scott Howson revealed yesterday that Nash asked to be traded [link].  This refuted talk the Jackets were shopping him of their own accord, and came as the clock ticked down on the biggest fish in the trade pond still trying to bite a hook.  But no team would put out enough bait.  Howson defended his astronomical asking price by pointing out he is neither required nor compelled to trade Nash just because he asked nicely.

How many of these are left in Columbus?

Now, I’m mad.  Howson threw Nash under the bus.  “Think you’re miserable now?  See how it feels when I turn the fans against you!” (Obviously not a real Howson quote.)  If Rick can’t get out of Columbus this summer, my heart will break.  He wanted to anchor that team and be the franchise guy that built a winning club.  Columbus has not delivered.  The Jackets are talking about “rebuilding” – rebuilding what?!  You have one Nash-shaped support beam and no house!  You never did.

In truth, the Jackets can’t afford to sell Nash unless they immediately start winning in return.  Rick’s price tag is something between a ransom and a bounty.  He’s all they have right now, after supposed big moves like Jeff Carter are quickly forgotten.  Columbus ranks 26th overall in NHL attendance, due in part to being so close to other teams (Pittsburgh fans call match-ups in Columbus “home games.”).  Nash is putting bodies in seats on nights when no one else can.  Without him….

I also feel for the Jackets’ fans; of course they don’t want to lose their one bright spot.  These fans, all the more precious for being in an expansion market, have stuck with the team like Nash has.  I hope they understand the position he’s in.  They can still get solid players in a Nash trade.  Come summer, teams struggling to make the playoffs now will have time to figure out what a fresh start with Nash is worth.  After what will be the Jackets’ 11th rough season in a row, it’s certainly worth a try.

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  1. raedanda Reply

    Thank you for being, if not optimistic, hopeful for the non-movements of one GMGM. You’re right – ask us in April if we believe that it’s out of misplaced faith that GMGM has in the Caps. But for now, we’ll lose our voices and lose our money in our pockets (buying tickets left & right) to ROCK THE RED!

    And Rick Nash? Sad lumberjack panda – http://oldstersview.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/panda.jpg. 🙁

    • Please tell me you googled “sad lumberjack panda” and that’s what came up. Amazing.

      • raedanda Reply

        Why, yes. Yes, I did. 🙂

        I <3 Google images.

  2. Other than the non-action, the biggest “shock” was probably Cody Hodgson going to the Sabres. But I’m probably biased because I live in Vancouver and got the *delight* of hearing Canucks fans cry into their lulu lemon “NOT COHO! Noooo!” Suck it up princesses. I still hate you.

    And John Scott playing the “we just had a baby” card tugged at all of my heart strings, but them’s the breaks I guess. Please Blackhawks, win some games. And win precisely the right number of games so that you don’t play Vancouver in the playoffs BECAUSE I CANNOT HANDLE THAT STRESS.

    • I love you Jess. Only you could turn a trade deadline post into a diatribe about the stress of Vancouver playing our beloved Hawks in the playoffs.

      And with that, I fully concur. Please Blackhawks, win some games. And Jonathan Toews, I hope your broken head gets better soon.

      • Toews Prayer Circle. It happens now.

        • I’m going to yell, “Suck it up, princesses!” at someone tonight. Let’s hope the Caps play well, so it’s not them.

  3. Carlay Reply

    On Rick Nash: (Be prepared this is long! Sorry!)
    I’m an Ohioan. He came to Ohio right about the time I started watching hockey. Rick Nash was the first player I knew. Hearing that the franchise player might be traded is scary. Especially considering the trouble Columbus has been having over the last couple years. My friends that don’t even watch hockey were freaking out over the possibility.

    Then, we found out he requested a trade (Insert my heart breaking here). Coming from a state where franchise players always seem to want out when times are tough (Brady Quinn, Lebron James, etc.) It felt like he was giving up on the team. Now I understand it would be better for his career, but honestly it’s devastating to find out even the captain has no hope.

    While I am heart broken, I also feel for the guy. Not because he’s “stuck” in Cbus but because no fans are going to stand behind him. He lost their loyalty. I honestly hope he leaves this summer, cause playing in a city that knows you don’t want too be there is going to be torture for him. Trust me, I know Ohioans…. we rarely forgive, but we never forget.

    • Well said, Carlay. We feel you on every count of that. I hope the Jackets can sort out their issues and do some winning for you guys. With or without Nash, it’s been a tough road. I personally love love love to see expansion teams succeed. We’re all pulling for Columbus gets themselves on that list soon.

  4. Gemma Reply

    I understand that Nash is the lone beam to the Blue Jacket’s house but how long can that beam support the load until cracking under pressure. I understand the sentiments of fans in Ohio and it’s a sad situation but wouldn’t you rather get a few bricks for the guy and build from there. The Blue Jackets problem is goal tending (coming from a Leafs’ fan, we know a thing or two about that). Dealt with the Sundin fiasco too and we’re still given the short end of that stick. Nash loves the fans in Ohio but even the fans need to support him with how the management has mishandled the situation and thrown him under the bus. If he wasn’t such a sweet guy, he’d ask ownership to get rid of the management but alas the Jackets will start winning soon.