It just might be that time. Will Columbus do the right thing for their franchise as well as their franchise player? This of course would be trading Rick Nash. Speaking as a hockey fan I think that most would agree, Rick Nash deserves better and NHL fans would benefit if he was moved to a team that has a more promising outlook. For his entire career Nash has been hidden in Columbus without much fanfare, except for when he pops up in the International scene, or at the all star games. And that is really too bad.
The Blue Jackets are in a tough spot right now as they are stuck in the bottom third of the league, again. Fan support is most certainly waning and the city is waiting for an actual NHL team to get behind. Rick Nash might provide the Blue Jacket franchise with the opportunity to get multiple quality players back. No one player is going to get Columbus in the right direction. They are going to need a few key players coming back.
Fellow hockeybuzz poster dbell646 brought up a very interesting proposal:
The LA Kings would receive Rick Nash in exchange for Jonathan Bernier, Jack Johnson and a 1st round pick.
Now mind you, that this is just the basic framework of a deal. There can always be tweaks and mild changes to make things work.
I think that this proposal covers a lot of positive ground for both teams. Starting with LA they would be getting the biggest star in the trade and LA loves to have star players. Kopitar and Nash would be an awesome combo. Stoll and Penner’s contracts are both coming off of the books this offseason so it would help lessen the bite that Nash’s contract would have on the cap. The pieces that LA would be moving back would not necessarily hurt their teams chances of making a run. The Kings cannot keep both of their goalies (Quick/Bernier), eventually one is going to move on so they both can be starting goalies, and the Kings know that. What better time to cash in on moving Bernier than for a big star like Nash? Jack Johnson is a good defensemen, but the Kings are fortunate as they have a young promising defensemen in Voynov who can take over that role. Lastly, first round picks are always useful, but in LA’s situation they can afford to let one go if they are getting a return like Nash.
The Blue Jackets are in a tough spot, as Rick Nash can veto a trade to anywhere. But LA would provide him a great hockey situation, and I have to assume he wouldn’t mind the living accommodations either. The Blue Jackets can’t screw this trade up or their team just might move out of town, that is how important the Nash deal is.
Columbus has been getting suspect goaltending for quite some time, Bernier is probably the most highly regarded young goalie who is ready to step in and take the reigns (Vancouver’s Cory Schneider being the other). The Jackets would be upgrading that very important position which has been losing games consistently for them recently.
Jack Johnson would give the Blue Jackets a defensemen who eats minutes (22 min/game on average). Johnson can provide a multitude of services. He can run a PP, play man down, make crisp breakout passes and every once in a while throw his body around. A guy like Johnson takes the stress off of the other defensemen on the team just based on the amount of minutes he plays, and the kind of minutes he plays.
A first round pick is never a bad thing for a team like Columbus who is in the rebuilding process again. However, they really need to find the right GM to be making those decisions.
The Blue Jackets need to hit a home run with their trade of Nash and it won’t be easy given his veto powers. However I think the Kings and Jackets could come together and be the right fit for both teams.
Thanks for reading
Please feel free to critique/criticize/agree/disagree or make your own proposals.
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