More than six months after Rick Nash asked for a trade, he finally got his wish. Yes, it took Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson that long to get the return he demanded.
The Blue Jackets traded Nash -- the club's captain and the franchise leader in every major offensive category -- to the New York Rangers for forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick. The Jackets also sent minor league defenseman Steven Delisle and a conditional third-round pick to the Rangers.
"This trade brings us the right balance we were seeking in any trade for Rick: a balance between helping the team now and helping the team in the future," Howson said.
Nash, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, provided Howson a list of six teams to which he would approve a trade -- the Rangers, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Jose.
But Howson told The Columbus Dispatch the Rangers were the most consistently interested club back to the NHL trade deadline, when news of Nash's trade request first surfaced.
Asked if the trade he accepted for Nash would have been available last February, Howson told The Dispatch "we weren't ready to trade him at the trade deadline. We wanted to wait and see what offers might be available at the draft or this summer, and I think that was the right decision for our franchise."
The Dispatch reported that the Rangers upped the ante by adding Erixon into the their offer a few days before the Rangers and Jackets agreed on the trade.
The Jackets expect Dubinsky and Anisimov to play significant roles on the team in 2012-13 and beyond. Dubinsky could be the Jackets' No. 1 center, while Anisimov could center the No. 3 line. Erixon could make the club, but he'll face a stern test in training camp.
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