Just when you thought the Rick Nash story was going to die down after the trade deadline came and went with him still in Columbus, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson decided to reveal at the post-deadline news conference that it was Nash who approached the team about a trade.
Well on Tuesday Nash had his first chance to talk about the trade deadline and his request to leave the only franchise he has ever known.
"I was informed by management that there was a rebuild, a reshape, of the team, and I personally felt I could be a huge part of that, toward bringing assets in," Nash said after the team's skate. "I think that was in my view that was the best thing for the team, the organization, and personally for my career."
It sounds noble to be sure. And I'm not even going to be the cynic here and say there's no truth to that, that Nash is trying to remain the good guy. He's been incredibly dedicated and loyal to that franchise, I believe he was interested in helping them build for the future.
Just don't be fooled into not reading that Nash just doesn't want to be part of it. The organization has more or less been in a perpetual state of rebuilding. Can't blame Nash for being ready to play on a winning team. He'll take the martyr role in the process.
Here is an interesting back and forth from today's media availability that allows you to read through the lines however you choose.
"I think the biggest thing is when management said they were going to make a rebuild and a reshape, I thought the best thing for the team and for the organization would be to get assets for me, and I thought it would be best for my career."
Reporter: "Best for your career, to go somewhere else?"
Nash: "To be part of the rebuild."
What will be interesting to see now is how the fans in Columbus treat Nash. They have beloved him as the face of the franchise for years. Now, we'll have to wait and see.
"I don’t know what to expect," Nash said. "I think I’ve been with these fans my whole 9-year, 10-year career here and I love them no matter what. They’re a great fan base, loyal. They’ve been patient with this organization and this team, and no matter what the reception is I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for our fans."
I'm going to go out on a limb here (not really) and say the overwhelming majority won't be mad at Nash. I doubt many if any of them could blame him for wanting to leave, whatever the reason. If his intentions really were as noble as he says then there's definitely no way they could feel scorn for him.
Now that Nash's retort is out of the way, this can be put on the backburner until the summer. On to the playoff push.
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