Rick Nash isn't happy. And he shouldn't be, either. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Now that the Blue Jackets have re-signed veteran winger Vinny Prospal, one piece to the puzzle is in place. That leaves 22 other roster spots yet to be determined. Obviously we'll see the likes of Ryan Johansen and John Moore returning next year. Some veterans like Fedor Tyutin, R.J. Umberger, and James Wisniewski will likely remain fixtures on the team, unless an offer comes through that's too good to refuse.
But where does that leave Rick Nash? Word is that he's unhappy. The report I read essentially stated that people in the know with Nash said that he would not request a trade, but is unhappy with the state of the team and would entertain the idea of accepting a trade if he were presented the option.
I'm having trouble finding the article now... but can anyone tell me which rocket scientist came up with that? If Nash wasn't frustrated playing for a team in dead last, then I would be concerned. The Blue Jackets at 15-32-6. That's good for 36 points. Let me put it another way: 11 points behind the 29th place team.
Should Nash be satisfied? No way! And if he was sitting back on his fat contract without a care in the world, then I would be the first to want him traded. But there's nothing to suggest that, not even this "report."
The bottom line on any Nash rumors or potential deals: It's about time this team makes some smart business decisions. I believe re-signing Prospal was the first step. Identifying him as a key player that you want around young players was essential for Scott Howson to get the right pieces in place. There will always be suitors for Rick Nash, and if a trade makes the most sense for the Columbus Blue Jackets, then they should take it. But that won't necessarily be easy to come by, and I don't think it's what Nash or the Jackets are looking for in this situation.
The team has a lot going right: They just re-signed a key veteran, with a gentlemen's agreement that he'll remain with the franchise in some capacity beyond the end of his playing career. A potentially nasty arena ownership issue is in the rear view mirror, with the team committed to stay in town for decades. The team, as always, has continued to have stable ownership. The 2013 All Star Game will be in town, an opportunity to show case the city, team, facilities and fans on a national stage.
As much as I would never be the one to say, "There's always next year," especially not after the last two seasons, at least there will be a next year. And God forbid, there will be a next year after that.
We all want to win now, and that's fair. After 11 years, we all deserve some credit and some success. But it's time to do this thing right. To build it out with the right players in the right positions. Like the pesky Nashville Predators, that just never go away.
A lot of things are going right for this team, and if they can just get the hockey thing figured out, we'll be alright.