To have one of the NHL's premier players, a gold medalist, toil in such obscurity for so long, to go his first 8 years without one playoff victory. To put it mildy - that sucks. It's a shame for Rick Nash, the NHL and hockey fans.
Somebody, please, get him out of Columbus.
There are rumors Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs are making a pitch for Nash. They were started by Bill Watters, in the best tradition of Justin Bieber, on his twitter page. Watters is a former assistant G.M. of the Leafs and now has a sports show on AM640 in Toronto. This is what Mr. Watters tweeted: "Here is one to smoke on.Please do not inhale .From CBJ,Nash & Huselius,From TORGrabovski, Schenn, Kadri and Komisarek.1st time Nash involved."
Rick Nash: former first round pick
The deal does look like a possibility. Nash is a superstar, the former first overall pick in 2002, and at 27 still has years left. Kristian Huselius, at 33, is out with a recurring groin injury, has a lot of money left on the final year of his contract and is considered a soft, if talented player. He may be no more than a salary dump for Columbus, a part of the price it will take to get Nash.
But there are doubts, especially with the package including both Luke Schenn and Nazem Kadri, along with Mikhail Grabovski, it's a lot to give up. Yes, Grabovski is an UFA at season's end but if Burke doesn't want to pay what it would take to sign him, he'd be great trade bait before the Feb. 27 trade deadline. And presumably Columbus would want to sign him first and why would Grabovski want to go there?
But know this - Nash is a stud. Perennial 30 goal man, he got 40 in 2008-09 and is approaching 300 in his career, the big guy will crash the net to score or he'll get there with finesse. He's just off-the-charts good, and it'd be something to see him line up with Phil Kessel and...whoever at center. Rick Nash is worth a lot.
Nash to Maple Leafs: Real or a Dream?
Despite those former ties to Toronto it seems unlikely Watters was told about a deal-in-progress by anybody connected to the Leafs. Burke doesn't float rumors to discover fan or media reaction, he doesn't give a hoot about fan or media reaction, he does what he feels is best, period. And the source would not be Columbus, they'd know that a good way to piss Burke off would be to talk about the trade with media.
Maybe he talked to an agent of one of the players. Or maybe he's just tweeting out loud. But the only way we're gonna see Columbus' captain in the playoffs this season is via a trade. And with him the Leafs would be a lock for their first post-season in 7 seasons. He'd surely waive his no-trade clause to get to the playoffs, where he's been but once and did not win a game, in a city that he grew up near and on a team he once cheered for.
For his sake, for the sake of NHL fans, let's hope either Bill Watters has a bead on something or that Brian Burke decides Watters has a good idea and calls Columbus.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com