In the wake of Mike Commodore being sent home by the team, Tom Reed writes an editorial on Puck Rakers: "Cutting To The Core"
It's interesting, because Tom generally doesn't write these type of opinion pieces. It's a very good read, and one I have a hard time arguing with.
While it's hard to say guys like Nash, Umberger, Voracek. etx. should be "untouchables", it's clear that if Scott Howson wants to make a trade, particularly an impactful trade, more than Mike Commodore or Kyle Wilson will be involved.
I have a hard time trading Rick Nash, simply because I don't see the team getting value. Is he the team's captain? Yes. Is he the face of the franchise? Absolutely. Is he probably our most "impactful" player? On paper, absolutely. I certainly like him in the lineup, compared to not. But it's also clear that Nash, no matter how skilled he is, does not lift this team by himself - perhaps it's simply too great a weight to ask any one player to do, night after night.
However, that said, teams know Howson is in a bad position. They know he will be forced to make a deal, and that he will have difficulty "winning" any trade. Even if Nash was available (and at this point, there is NO indication that he is), the salary cap world makes it almost impossible to move a player with such a big contract. First round picks would certainly be involved, but how many players would have to change hands to 'balance' the equation, and what GM would make a move that sends core players back?
I don't doubt that when a deal comes, a core player will move. I'll guess it will be a younger player, one considered to have upside, and a "reasonable" contract, to balance Mike Commodore's deal.
That said, I'm encouraged by the fact that a deal has NOT gone down yet, because of what that signals about what could well come back.
I'm sure that if Howson wanted to dump Commodore for, say, a conditional low round pick, like the Freddy Modin deal, or even something like the Jamie Langenbrunner deal, it would probably be done.
Instead, as he clears roster space and bides his time carefully, it's clear Scott Howson is looking for roster players to return. It is not enough to simply remove one problem player, or to make a deal to stockpile draft picks.
If it is indeed time to blow up the Blue Jackets, then Scott Howson wants a true "new" team in their place, and not simply a promise that this year's draft will bring more new blood.
The current core hasn't worked - fine. But Scott Howson must use this opportunity to bring in a new core, or he won't get another chance.