Could Columbus Blue Jackets fans really be stuck with Rick Nash for another year?
In any other year, the very utterance of this question would be treated as blasphemy.
But this isn't any other year.
But, for whatever reason, Rick Nash wants out of Columbus, and he gave Scott Howson a short list of teams to work with to make it happen.
Given... it is only July 5. A lot can happen between now and training camp. However, I would say It's highly unlikely that anything is going to happen the way Howson wants, when it comes to Rick Nash.
And he has only himself to blame. He could have kept it all behind closed doors. No one had to know that Nash asked for a trade. For whatever reason, however, Nash wants out, and I think it's safe to say that the analysis by many at the trade deadline has proven painfully true: Howson shot himself in the foot.
And the bullet has managed to ricochet off his foot back up through the leg and sever an artery.
Now, the NashWatch situation is hemorrhaging, and there's no end in sight, because Howson refuses to budge.
Nash wants out of Columbus, and everyone in the league knows it.
So, could Nash be stuck in Columbus? Sure. Could Columbus be stuck with Nash? Absolutely.
If Scott Howson wanted to put Rick Nash into a no-win situation, one could say this is most certainly it. Nash could tank, and bring the whole damn team down with him. Sure, Howson would more than likely get fired. But there is also another year that Rick Nash is not earning his $7.8 million, and another year without winning.
Or, Nash could check into the game on a consistent basis for the first time in a couple years, find some of that talent that's in the tank and contribute to his team, make the playoffs, and so forth. The drawback, of course, is that Howson actually looks like a passable GM then, and Nash won't be rid of him. Then you have to keep working together.
Except there's the fallacy, though: There is no no-win situation for Rick. He is under contract. He gets his average $7.8 million anyway.
Sure, you can put Nash out on the ice. But why? Whether he was just trying to get Howson fired, or he simply wants out... the fact remains that he wants out.
And if he wants out... how is he even worthy of wearing the sweater?
Scott Howson needs to face the fact that he's not going to get what he wants for Nash, and that is his own fault. He screwed up. On top of it, he is on borrowed time. Sure, he has made a couple decent moves so far this offseason. But his hands are tied because of the mistakes he has made with Nash.
The way Rick Nash played last year, he's not going to go to a team he wants, unless Howson drops his price. Who could blame them? Nash's performance last season was closer to Alexandre Daigle than Alexander Semin.
No one is winning in this situation. But the only people who are losing in this constant, ridiculous stalemate are the fans.
And those are the most important people in this situation. We are the ones who buy the tickets. We are the ones who buy the merchandise.
This team needs to move forward. It can't be done like this. This long, drawn-out PR fustercluck needs to stop. Now. On both sides. The cost to this team and its fanbase is too great for this to continue.
It comes down to four words... and honestly, the same message applies to both sides.
Mr. Howson: Stop being a jackass.
Rick: Stop being a jackass.
There. Costly problem... solved.
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MORE NASHWATCH COVERAGE
6/30/2012: Box Full of Letters, Part II: Rick Nash
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