The Nash saga drags on. And on. And on. And......
Scott Howson is looking to really screw this up. Now, I'm not privy to any information that no one else has, but by merely thinking logically, I think I can deduce what the problem is. Howson has a completely different idea of Nash's worth than does any potential trade partner.
We hear about "market value" all the time. But, really, what is "market value" when considering a trade. The old definition of value is two fold. What you must do to get something. What you can do with that something. What Howson is not seeing is that Nash has a higher value to the Blue Jackets than he does to anyone else. To the CBJ, Nash is "THE STAR". No complaints about that from me. Since he arrived, he has been the axle around which the CBJ wheel has turned.
However, to pretty much any other team, Nash is not much more than an important piece in the puzzle of bringing home the Cup. And it is from this perspective that Howson should be looking as he puts together a deal for Nash. Which leads to the question of what kind of deal is realistic.
First off, forget getting a superstar. No one is going to give up a top rank player to get Nash. Especially as his numbers have dwindled since the CBJ's one play off appearance. Therefore, what Howson should be looking for are, for lack of a better term, pieces of the puzzle.
With recent acquisitions - Wiz, JMFJ, Aucoin - and talented "up and comers" - Moore, Murray, etc. - the Jackets' defense is strong, if somewhat inexperienced. However, unlike in recent seasons, the Jackets' defense cannot be called weak. A little risky at times, but not weak. Which leaves goaltending and forwards.
I honestly don't think that any team is going to offer up a potential starting goalie for Nash. At least, not the teams rumored to be on Nash's approved list. At best, Howson could get a goalie prospect, of which the Jackets already have plenty. So, being realistic, leave goalies out of the mix.
That leaves forwards, which always has been a CBJ weakness. Unlike others, I'm not going to suggest Howson go after young stars. I won't protest if he does land a Dubrinsky, for instance, but there is another way. Everyone loves the 30+ goal, 40-odd assist forward. However, I am thinking about how my favorite team in another sport - the Collingwood Magpies of the Australian Football League - have built a dominant team. Instead of having one or two forwards who kick a massive amount of goals, they've drafted and traded for a group of eight forwards and midfielders who can all kick a fair amount of goals. That is, no stars, but a solid team.
Imagine, if you will, the CBJ rolling three lines where each player is capable of 20 goals and 30 assists. Wouldn't that make it harder to defend against the Jackets? I propose that, instead of trying to land one or two young stars, Howson accept something like this:
2 NHL ready forwards, or current NHLers, with 20 - 30 goal and 30 - 40 assist potential
1 or two forward prospects with the same potential
A first round draft pick, or 2 second round draft picks
I think that such a trade wold reflect Nash's market value as perceived by other GMs and, though of limited improvement for the CBJ in the short run, would be a long term win for the team. While Nash could get that Cup win he's hungry for, such a trade is, potentially, better for the CBJ, for long term success.