Tag:Rick Nash
Posted on: February 6, 2012 7:09 pm

Report: Rick Nash would consider being traded

Nash has 17 goals and 17 assists this season. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Columbus Blue Jackets have made it pretty clear at this point that they will be sellers when the trade deadline comes around Feb. 27. What else would you expect from a team that's so far in the basement they can't see the closest team in the standings even with their high-beams on.

Jeff Carter has been seen as a clear trade target, assuming they can find a taker for him. But what about their captain, the true face of the franchise Rick Nash? They wouldn't trade him, a very talented player in his prime who really does enjoy being in Columbus.

The prevailing wisdom was no. But the thoughts, they are a changin'.

Here is some new gossip from John Shannon of Sportsnet.

I have received a couple of calls from friends of Nash, who claim that Rick is very unhappy with the way the franchise is going and realizes it will take five more years to rebuild, again. Nash is now telling people close to him that he would entertain being moved, but still will not be the one who asks for a trade.

Well isn't that interesting? For a player that is 27 now, the prospect of a Five-Year Plan (non-commie version, of course) wouldn't be that appealing.

While I'm skeptical Jackets GM Scott Howson will find it easy to get suitors for Carter, I doubt there would be any such issues regarding Nash. He's still signed for another six years, but that's easier to stomach than Carter's 10 years. The cap hit is very high at $7.8 million and that would cut down a lot of the contenders who are closer to the cap.

But it's more of the intangibles that make him perhaps more tantalizing. Nash has played fewer than 74 games in only one NHL season and that was in the first year post lockout. More importantly, he's a classic "character guy," one of those players that isn't carrying that stigmatizing baggage with him like a rain cloud in an Acme cartoon.

He's a guy that I can't help but like and feel for. He's been loyal to the Jackets (granted, that kind of cash thrown his way probably helps a bit), is a very good player and seems to be a quality guy. You wish he had experienced more than four playoff games at this point in his career.

If you are the Jackets, it's a tough call and clearly the return has to be right (see: incredibly high). Trading away Nash would be a tough one to sell to the fanbase that is growing ever more frustrated, especially if it's right for the rebuild.

What do you think, should the Blue Jackets even think about trading Nash away?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:48 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 3:30 pm

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

The Jackets might move Carter, but can they? (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

There's no time quite like the present. Isn't that what they say?

The present now just happens to be trade deadline month in the NHL. The actual day isn't for another few weeks, Feb. 27, but the whole month will be full of he said/she said, rumors that make you say hmm and others that make you say huh?

It seems like it's been a while since there were some real blockbuster deals looming in the NHL. It's not often there are teams willing to move the big names, the star players. That doesn't mean there weren't some key trades made, evident after the fact. In all, there were four players traded last February that were in the All-Star Game this season -- Joffrey Lupul to the Maple Leafs, Brian Elliott to the Avalanche, James Neal to the Penguins and Dennis Wideman to the Capitals.

There were certainly other moves that were crucial too. Just look at what the Bruins did, acquiring Tomas Kaberle, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley last February, all important to their run to the Stanley Cup last season and in the case of Kelly and Peverley, the Bruins' push this season.

But none of those really stole the show. Not the way this year has the potential to. Or at least had until recently.

A little more than a week ago it looked like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Tim Gleason and maybe even Shane Doan were possible targets to move. Circumstances have changed or the teams have reaffirmed those guys aren't on the move.

Because of parity across the league partly as a byproduct of the points system in place today, there are a lot less sellers. Despite the odds of teams being five or more points back making the playoffs being long, clubs often times refuse to give in and admit they should reshuffle their organization.

It ends up with teams that should be looking to add, teams that shouldn't be looking to do anything and some teams that should probably be looking to sell all thinking the same: Let's add.

"Right now there are different teams trying to make a trade, but the problem is there are only two or three teams that are even willing to make a trade for a draft choice or prospect, meaning they don't think they are going to make the playoffs," Nashville GM David Poile told NHL.com. "What I want now versus what I can later are two different things because of the parity you have in the NHL.

More Trade deadline

One team that is painfully aware it doesn't stand a shot this season is the Columbus Blue Jackets. They are 11 points out ... of 29th place in the league. It's 23 points to the eighth seed in the West. After an offseason that saw them acquire Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski, that's a horrible disappointment. You know what that means ...

Yes, the Jackets will be sellers. And, even though they acquired him just seven months ago, all indications are that they would like to part ways with Carter. It's really been a wash of a season for him, fighting through injuries but still only scoring 10 goals with seven assists in 30 games.

“There’s talk about a lot of guys [in here] right now. Our team, with the way the season has gone -- the injuries, the standings, and stuff -- I don’t think it should come as a surprise to anybody on our team if they end up [in rumors],” Carter told the Columbus Dispatch.

The massive hurdle with Carter is figuring out how movable he is. His contract runs through the 2021-22 season with an annual cap hit of $5,272,727 (courtesy of Cap Geek). For a player that's been snake-bitten by injuries this season and hasn't seemed to want to be where he is at all this season, that becomes a tough sell, especially when you consider what the Jackets will want in return. They need everything, but primary concerns are in net and getting better on the blue line.

Still, he's only 27 and has shown with his time in Philadelphia that he can contribute a lot offensively. This will be the first season since 06-07 he didn't score at least 29 goals and more than 50 points. There could be some GMs out there willing to take the risks for the potential, which is still high.

If it does happen, it will be a not-so classic case of buy high, sell low for Columbus -- granted, low with Carter is probably still kind of high. That's not the best way to move on up in the world.

A good chunk of the rest of the Columbus roster will be available if anybody wants to take a shot, too. They'd probably love to move Steve Mason, but it's tough to envision anybody wanting him at this point. Rick Nash and Wisniewski are probably untouchables, Nash being the heart and soul of the otherwise faceless franchise and Wisniewski being the biggest player at their position of need. But the other guys like Antoine Vermette, Vaclav Prospal and more? Take your best shot.

The Blue Jackets aren't the only team known to be exploring the market. Tuomo Ruutu is a hot candidate to be moved from Carolina with the Hurricanes last in the East.

"I've heard rumors I'm going to every team in the NHL," Ruutu told Chip Patterson of the News & Observer this week. "I must be really playing well."

Obviously Ruutu isn't going to get people's gears going, but he could be a good addition for somebody, assuming the price is right. It's unlikely he's going to give any team top-six production, but he's not worthless either. One of the concerns is that he becomes a UFA this offseason, so it could be a rental situation.

The potential is endless, though. The Canucks have some expendables in their quest to bolster the roster for this year's push. Mason Raymond is a target of many. Some still think they should move Cory Schneider, perhaps the hottest backup goalie in the league. The Stars have to decide what side they're on, and if it's the seller side, Brenden Morrow could be up for grabs. The Canadiens have Travis Moen, Hal Gill and Chris Campoli. The Oilers could move Ryan Smyth again. It goes on and on.

Of course we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brian Burke always seems to find a way to get in the big trade action.

But it will probably all come back to the biggest, most obvious seller of them all in Columbus.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:40 am
Edited on: January 28, 2012 7:22 pm

Columbus will host 2013 All-Star Game

CBJBy: Adam Gretz

On the eve of the 2012 All-Star game, the NHL announced that the 2013 game will take place in Columbus, Ohio, at Nationwide Arena, the home of the Blue Jackets.

It will be the second major event that Columbus has hosted, as the 2007 Entry Draft was held there as well.

If the league continues its current All-Star format with two captains picking their teams from a pool of All-Stars, it's a good bet that Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash will be one of the players making the choices next season. In each of the past two years the host team has provided one of the captains, with Eric Staal being named one last season in Carolina, and Daniel Alfredsson picking his team on Thursday night in Ottawa.

Of course, two things will have to happen for us to get to that point: 1) There's no cancellation of the game due to some sort of CBA hold-up (the current agreement is up after this season, so who knows what's going to happen there) and 2) Rick Nash is still a member of the Blue Jackets.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: January 8, 2012 11:46 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 11:48 pm

Jeff Carter separates shoulder in loss to Ducks

By Brian Stubits

It's just not the Columbus Blue Jackets' year.

They met the Ducks in Anaheim on Sunday night in a midseason battle for the No. 1 pick. It was all that you would expect from two teams that seem snake-bitten. The goalies were toasted for 11 goals (all four played, by the way) and the Blue Jackets saw another key player go down with an injury. It's been that kind of year.

Coach Scott Arniel, who is somehow still hanging onto his job, confirmed after the 7-4 loss that Jeff Carter is going to miss time after separating his shoulder. This is the second time this season that Carter has had a bad injury that will cost him time. Earlier this season he had a hairline fracture in his foot from blocking a shot.

This offseason, Carter was the big acquisition by the Blue Jackets, the move that finally gave Rick Nash a fellow big-time scorer to play with. It hasn't gone exactly as planned. Nothing for Columbus has, really.

He has played in 29 games and has 10 goals with 8 assists. He hasn't scored fewer than 30 goals since 2007-08 with the Flyers when he had 29.

The Blue Jackets will update his situation further after some tests, but he is well on his way to a season to forget, both from a personal stats/injury standpoint and the lack of team success.

Photo: US Presswire

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:20 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 1:22 pm

Nash might be willing to waive no trade clause

NashBy: Adam Gretz

Rick Nash is pretty much the NHL's version of Steven Jackson, the running back for the St. Louis Rams. An underappreciated great player that has spent his entire career hidden on what has been a terrible team, while always being a good citizen and company man about the whole situation, putting up with losing season after losing season with the hope that brighter days are on the horizon.

This season has been no different, as the Blue Jackets enter their game on Thursday at San Jose with the worst record in the league. Even worse, the team is off to the worst start in franchise history, an impressive accomplishment for an organization that's only had one winning season in its entire existence and never won a playoff game.

When you combine all of that with the fact that Blue Jackets general Scott Howson has previously said he's going to be active in the trade market, and the fact we're approaching the point in the season where trade discussion picks up a little bit (just look at what might be happening out in Anaheim), it's only natural that a player like Nash is going to be talked about, even if it's just rumors or speculation.

Nash is currently in the second year of an eight-year contract that pays him an average annual salary of $7.8 million. It also has a no-trade clause through the 2015 season, and Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch recently asked Nash if he would be willing to waive it if the Blue Jackets approached him regardin a trade.

“That’s a tough question to answer in a situation like this,” said Nash, via the Dispatch. “I love Columbus. I love being here. I love being a Blue Jacket. The city of Columbus deserves a winner and deserves a good product on the ice. If it comes to that — like you said, all speculation — but if they don’t want me here, they want to move me? I’m not going to do something where it’s going to hurt the franchise just because I have that in my contract.”

Not exactly an "I'm not interested in leaving" response, but it's also not a "get me the hell out of here" type of plea, either.

Nash is still only 27 years old and in the prime of his career. Trading him at this point would not only mean the Blue Jackets are giving up on what's already a lost season, but it would also signal the start of yet another rebuliding phase (or, perhaps more accurately, continuing the "building" phase). He's still signed long-term, so there should be no rush to move him at this point, especially during what's been somewhat of a down season for him offensively (why sell low?).

In response to Nash's comments, Howson told ESPN's Pierre LeBrun that the organization's "position on Rick has not changed," which would seem to indicate that he has no interest in trading his captain and best player at the present time.

Since joining the Blue Jackets as the No. 1 overall pick back in 2002, Nash has scored 271 goals in his nine seasons with the team, including a pair of 40-goal campaigns and four straight seasons with at least 30 goals.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: October 23, 2011 2:40 pm

Saturday Story: Jon Quick on fire; Booth dealt

By Brian Stubits

You ever notice that there seems to be 15 or 20 goalies who are described as one of the top 5 in the league? Well I'm starting to get the feeling I know of another.

In case you haven't noticed, Jonathan Quick is having himself quite a stretch in net for the Los Angeles Kings right now. He blanked the streaking Stars in a 1-0 Pacific Division battle, marking his third consecutive shutout. Going back to last Saturday's game against Philadelphia when Matt Carle beat him on the power play, that's 188:10 consecutive minutes without a goal.

If you want to make that even more impressive, the last team he was beaten with an even-strength goal? You have to go back to 13:03 of the first period against the Devils on Oct. 13. That's 286:57 straight minutes.

"Anytime a goaltender gets a shutout, everyone contributes. But you've got to give him a lot of the credit," Kings coach Terry Murray said after the win. "He's focused on the play and he's aggressive to the shots. Tonight he was again on his game, and he just followed up on the game at Phoenix and brought the same game here tonight."

A lot of attention this summer was paid to the addition of Mike Richards in Los Angeles and Drew Doughty's contract. That's all rightfully so. They were massive moves worthy of their attention.

But you can't forget about Quick. When push comes to shove, a team is usually only as good as its goalie. Look at the Bruins and Tim Thomas a season ago.

It's not like we're going off again on another small-sample size judgment parade here. Quick just posted a .918 save percentage and 2.24 goals against average last season. For his career, which consists of 186 games, he has a .914 save percentage. But streaks like this will get you noticed.

Plus, it's pretty great to have him on your Fantasy team, too (#humblebrag).

Booth dealt

When news of the David Booth to the Canucks found its way to the press box at the Verizon Center on Saturday night, the collective response was one of shock. Why on Earth would the Panthers give up Booth for Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson? What was the end game for Dale Tallon?

Well, having had a little more time to digest it, I think I can at least see the rationale for Tallon. That's not to say I buy it, but I can see it.

Booth was more than sluggish to start the season. His one point in six games didn't exactly fit the profile of a player making more than $4 million per season. Considering he scored 23 goals last season and had just 40 points, the perception of him is still high considering his 31-goal season a few years back. That was also before his concussion.

So there was still some high-stock value for Booth. Any longer of a slow start and that would have gone down. But still, only Sturm and Samuelsson for Booth, Steven Reinprecht and a third-round draft pick? There has to be more.

Well, consider that obviously Sameulsson and Sturm aren't in the Panthers' long-term plans. When Tallon went on the spending spree this past summer, he signed four lines worth of NHL-caliber players to longer deals. There was no room for the Panthers to begin showing off their expansive farm system.

But with these two deals coming off the books, that's conceivably two roster spots that will be available for highly touted players like Jonathan Huberdeau and Quinton Howden to play. That could be the biggest part of all.

And for the Canucks? Well yea, the deal makes too much sense. Booth with fellow Michigander Ryan Kesler could be magic. Of course, Booth could struggle, too. It's not a completely risk-free trade, but it's close.

How to stay winless in 60 seconds

The Columbus Blue Jackets were so close they could probably taste it. Going in to the final minute against the Senators, the Jackets had the lead and seemed at least sure to get one point. That would have doubled their season total. But the real fish they were chasing was their first win.

Instead, they reminded everybody why they are the only winless team in hockey by collapsing in the final minute, giving up not one, but two goals to the Senators, including the winner with 4.7 seconds left.

"It's tough. It seems like we're not getting any bounces," Rick Nash said. "It seems like we're finding ways to lose games instead of finding ways to win games. That's the difference between good teams and bad teams right now."

The saving grace for Columbus? The team is about to get a lift. James Wisniewski will finally make his Blue Jackets debut after his eight-game suspension and Jeff Carter shouldn't be out too much longer.

Still, there is no easy treading ahead. The next seven games will come against teams above .500. At this point, they just need to get the proverbial monkey off their backs because this will only weigh on them the longer it goes.

Long season ahead

The Washington Capitals are flying sky high right now. They are off to a 7-0-0 start and D.C. is buzzing about its hockey team again. Seriously, outside of the arena before Saturday's game against the Red Wings there was a marching band which had one of the adjacent streets shut down.

After they dismantled the Wings 7-1, optimism is even higher. But that's why we have Ted Leonsis around (well that, and he kind of owns the team).

In a nutshell, here's the main message of his blog post to his Caps faithful.

It is October.

It is not how you start -- it is how you finish.

Enjoy the ride.

But don’t ever get too high with the highs and too low with the lows. Thank you. Go Caps!

It's a good moment of clarity from Leonsis, to be sure. Obviously he knows all too well about the Capitals being regular-season warriors who haven't delivered in the playoffs. But I just can't help but notice a more well-rounded and dare I say better team.

Stinking up the place

Rangers coach John Tortorella was brief in his postgame interview after New York's 2-0 loss to the Oilers on Saturday night. Real brief.

I take it he wasn't too happy with his team?

Somebody who was impressed? Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson. Not with the Rangers, but with Tortorella's postgame showing. Here is what Wilson tweeted on Sunday.

"Impressive Torts! U just set a new presser record at 16 secs. I'm going to break that record!"

Man, I can't wait for 24/7, this is going to be good.

Habs heat?

A start of 1-4-2 in Montreal? You know this is going to go well.

The Canadiens are just a little slow out of the gate. Part of that is injuries, so there's nothing to really blame there. But free-agent acquisition Erik Cole is yet to do one thing they brought him in for -- score a goal.

Montreal fans can be ruthless. They are serious about their hockey, obviously. So they were clamoring for a shakeup to the roster. So what do they get? Try a trade of Brock Trotter and a seventh-round pick to the Coyotes for Petteri Nokelainen and Garrett Stafford. I'm sure that's exactly what the Habs fans had in mind.

At the least, they expect playoff appearances in Montreal. So the longer the Habs wallow out of the gate, the more pressure coach Jacques Martin will feel.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:54 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 11:05 pm

Jamie Benn adds to Columbus' struggles

By: Adam Gretz

If we've established anything this week it's that the Columbus Blue Jackets are in trouble. A lot of trouble. And things aren't getting any better with the injury to Jeff Carter. What has been the worst start in franchise history continued to get worse on Tuesday night thanks to a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars, which was played in front of just 9,158 people at Nationwide Arena.

They managed to generate a lot of shots, out-shooting the Stars by a 40-18 margin, but it still wasn't enough as Steve Mason once against struggled in net and the Blue Jackets couldn't find a way to break through on Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen. If there is one play that can sum up the Columbus season to this point, it's probably this highlight reel goal from Stars forward Jamie Benn early in the third period.

It was a fantastic effort from the young power forward as he managed to skate through four Columbus players, somehow maintain possession of the puck, and find a way to fire off a wicked shot to beat Mason.

The loss drops Columbus to 0-5-1 on the young season, the worst mark in the NHL.

How bad does it look for the Blue Jackets right now? During its loss on Tuesday retired NHL player Mike Modano took to his Twitter account and asked All-Star forward Rick Nash, one of the four players that Benn managed to beat on the above goal, to ask for a trade out of Columbus.

Yeah, that's probably not going to happen. Hopefully.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 2:54 pm

Blue Jackets put Jeff Carter (broken foot) on IR

By Brian Stubits

This is not how Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson envisioned this season starting out.

The team is one of only two who are winless (along with the Rangers) and one of his two star pickups -- James Wisniewski -- in the offseason still hasn't played because of a suspension. So just when they begin to think things can't get any worse ...

Jeff Carter, who was already doubtful for Tuesday's game against the Dallas Stars, is undoubtedly out. He'll also miss the next couple of games after the Blue Jackets placed him on injured reserve with a hairline fracture in his foot, an injury he sustained by blocking a shot.

“He’s got a broken bone,” coach Scott Arniel said. “Now it’s all about pain tolerance. ... It’s stabilized, but it’s still pretty tender.

“Until he can get a boot on that foot and be able to push with it, we’re in wait-and-see mode.”

Carter was brought in to give the top line in Columbus some serious juice, figuring a combination of Carter and Rich Nash would be lethal. But so far, Carter, who had at least 33 goals in each of the last three seasons, has been held scoreless. He leads the league in a not-so flattering statistic, most shots on goal (20) without scoring. But he does have three assists and a plus-1 rating.

The fracture occurred on a bone that was already bruised from training camp and where he had a steel plate inserted to fix a broken bone while with the Flyers.

Aaron Portzline at the Columbus Dispatch points out that Carter continuing on despite pain hasn't helped matters in the past.

But Carter’s willingness to play through pain might be part of the problem. He missed only a couple of days of training camp -- and one exhibition game -- after suffering the injury last month.

“If you can play with pain, you play,” said Rick Curran, Carter’s agent. “Jeff has proven in the past that he’s quite willing to do that, possibly to the detriment of the injury itself.

“At some point, when you have the same injury recurring, it’s necessary to sit back and let it heal properly. At this point, I think it’s premature to say what should happen.”

By putting him on the IR and thus sidelining him out at least a week, there will be no temptation to gut it out here. Columbus will need Carter around for the rest of the season if they want to rebound from the sluggish start.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com