[An Open Letter to current (at least for now) Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash]
Dude. Seriously. Just leave already.
Don't get me wrong, Rick. I feel for you, somewhat. You're a captain of a team that just hasn't seemed to be able to turn the corner.
I have no doubt it frustrates the holy hell out of you. I understand.
You want out.
I thought of you a few days ago, after the NHL Awards were done, and the Hall of Fame inductees solidified their legends in hockey's grand history.
Joe Sakic was inducted this week. Not only immortalized as one of the greatest players of all time, but arguably one of the greatest captains of all time. The only pushback I get for saying "THE greatest" comes from Red Wings fans, pretty much. And to their credit, Yzerman WAS pretty damn good.
But Joe Sakic was the captain of a pretty bad Quebec Nordiques team as a younger guy like yourself. Did it get him down a little bit? Maybe.
Was he a quiet guy? Sure.
He also got stuff done on the ice. And much more consistently. AND he was a leader. A great leader.
Also doesn't hurt to note that SuperJoe won two Stanley Cups.
So, yeah... I thought of Joe Sakic, and I thought of you.
And how you'll never hold a candle to Joe Sakic.
Rick, you're a hell of a hockey player, when (and if) you set your mind to it. Others may put you on a pedestal, and occasionally there is a damn good reason for it. Your tribute video that plays the first time you return to Nationwide, I think everyone in the hockey world knows, is going to be BITCHEN.
Just one thing, though... you need to go away first.
Sorry, dude. You're a terrific hockey player. But let's face facts: You've become a huge pain in the ass these last few months.
You have fed the CBJ faithful Joe Resnick's carefully scripted line of B.S. about helping the team by being traded.
But then you apparently presented a "list" of teams you'd go to.
First of all... dude, Howson's not going to send you to the Isles or Habs, unless you've REALLY pissed him off. Believe me... NO ONE gets that angry.
Second... stop being so damn picky about where you go. Rick, you can turn just about any team (aside from the aforementioned) in the NHL into a contender, and possibly even a Cup champion. By playing hockey. By playing your game. And I think it will do you some good to go somewhere, where there's a reasonably good hockey team that can rely on your talent, without having to rely on you being a leader. Leadership doesn't suit you. You're the type of guy who needs to shut up and play hockey.
Seriously. After that post-deadline press conference, you really should never speak to the press again. Still one of the most painful TV moments of all time not involving Kathie Lee Gifford.
Honestly, Rick, I wish you well wherever you go... except in the unlikely event that you go somewhere in the Central Division.
I assure you... I and a vast majority of CBJ fans will genuinely miss you.
I just think you need to leave first. Loosen up on your stupid little list and make this happen.
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MORE NASHWATCH COVERAGE
6/30/2012: Free Agency Almost Open... Still No Nash Deal
6/16/2012: NashWatch, The Sequel: Happy Birthday... Your Gift's Running Late
3/21/2012: NashWatch: The Incredible Disappearing Captain
3/1/2012: Well... Now That Nash Has Spoken...
2/28/2012: Bad Season... Turned Nightmare...
2/27/2012: Trade Deadline Day: The Beginning Of The End (?)
2/16/2012: Bubble Hockey (Players): Rick Nash