July 23, 2012.
At the time, fans thought it was a date that would live in infamy. People screamed about getting a poor return. Brandon Dubinsky was a third line grinder on a down year. Artem Anisimov was a Russian who could maybe rack up 40 points a season. Tim Erixon was thought of as a very good defensive prospect, and everyone thought that the first round pick that New York gained in the deal would be very late. Everyone claimed that it was a grand slam for the Rangers and that it would propel them to their first Stanley Cup win since 1994.
"This is a disaster for the Columbus Blue Jackets" - former Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean.
There were rumors that Scott Howson had gotten a better offer at the trade deadline. At the trade deadline, reported trade partners included the San Jose Sharks, and the Vancouver Canucks. But the frontrunner was Glen Sather and the New York Rangers. The reported offer of Tim Erixon, J.T. Miller, Christian Thomas, Brandon Dubinsky and a first round pick was passed over, and Rick Nash remained a Blue Jacket at the deadline. Fans were furious. Accusations that the price was too high flew left and right.
"The price was high. I don't apologize for that. It had to be high" - Scott Howson
Adding fuel to the fire, shortly after the deadline, Scott Howson revealed that Rick Nash had asked for the trade.
"It's the right thing to do. It's the truthful thing to do"- Scott Howson
It has been said that not trading Rick Nash at the deadline was the last straw for Scott Howson. He wouldn't last much longer. Despite trading for Sergei Bobrovsky, in return for a second round pick and two fourth round picks, he was fired by John Davidson on February 12th and replaced by Jarmo Kekalainen a day later. The first European General Manager of an NHL franchise, Kekalainen knew he had a job to do. The Blue Jackets were in the midst of an unlikely push for the playoffs and they needed help scoring. Sergei Bobrovsky was racking up wins, and giving his team a chance night in and night out, but the team didn't really have any natural goal scorers. His first trade, Cason Machacek of the Winnipeg Jets for Tomas Kubalik didn't really get the job done. Neither did his trade with the Flyers in which he acquired Matt Ford for future considerations. Then came the trade deadline.
April 3, 2013.
Steve Mason for Mike Leighton and a third round pick.
Fans were amazed. People wondered if Steve Mason was still even worth a bag of pucks. A third round pick for him? Amazing! And then the kicker. 40 goal scorer Marian Gaborik was coming to town. Mired in a slump, and at times benched by fiery coach John Tortorella in New York, Marian Gaborik was willing to waive a no trade clause to come into Columbus, which at one time was thought to be one of the worst destinations for players in the NHL. That a player would waive a NTC to come to Ohio and play was a miracle. It was this point when Blue Jackets fans realized that there was a chance.
Sat. Apr 27th. The game.
The Predators had come to town. If the Blue Jackets won the game, they could make the playoffs as long as Minnesota lost to the Avalanche. The Blue Jackets went down by a goal from Shea Weber and trailed after two periods despite an amazing series of saves by Sergei Bobrovsky in the first, and despite the Jackets putting everything they could on net. Trailing after two, Brandon Dubinsky got them on the board. The Blue Jackets would ultimately put 46 shots on goal, and sneak two past Chris Mason - a goalie who had been terrible all season for the Preds, but who put on the game of his life in what may have been his final game. The Blue Jackets won 3-1 on an empty net goal and Jack Johnson's game winner.
Sergei Bobrovsky Makes 7 Saves In A Row vs Predators April 27, 2013 (via nazutin16)
Seriously, how did the Jackets not get scored on?
News came in that it was all for nothing. The Avalanche had failed and the Minnesota Wild made the playoffs.The Blue Jackets went farther than anyone had expected. At the beginning of the season, almost no one put the Blue Jackets higher than #30 in the NHL. Making it as far as they did was an accomplishment. It was small consolation that the Wild got wrecked by the eventual Stanley Cup champions, Chicago.
One Year Later
Rick Nash played well on an underachieving Rangers team. Scoring 42 points in 44 games, he was a big reason why the Rangers even made the playoffs. John Tortorella was fired and now Alain Vigneault has been hired. The new coach will be expected to take the Rangers into the Stanley Cup Finals, but only time will tell whether that happened. Glen Sather, GM of the Rangers, replaced a decent chunk of his core. We'll see if it works out. '
Columbus nearly made the playoffs, in large part due to the outstanding play of Vezina winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Marian Gaborik scored some timely goals and the Jackets outplayed everyone's wildest expectations.
The total sum of the trades between Columbus and New York stands at this.
Columbus Blue Jackets
First Round Pick - #19 Kerby Rychel
New York Rangers
A year later, do you think the Blue Jackets have been fleeced?
This is my first fanpost. I'm not really a Columbus Blue Jackets fan, but I was impressed by how they hung in there. I hope you enjoyed this.