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02-19-2012, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dublin
Country: United States
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Jackets fan here (in peace). Interesting hearing the reaction around the league regarding the Nash rumors and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

One major thing to keep in mind about Nash is that he has essentially played with No One in Columbus. Some of his seasons were with Manny Malholtra as the #1 center...ouch. There was hope that Brassard would be the play making center but Brassard's own development has been erratic. Howson brought in Carter to play with Nash, but without a dedicated play maker on the lines, it didn't work (big surprise there...). Ryan Johanson may one day be the center for Nash, but that is still likely a couple years away. BTW, Johanson and Schenn were amazing when they played together for Canada in the WJC.

When Nash by himself is very good, dominant at times, but when you put him with elite players such as in the Olympics or World Championships, he is a beast. He can play both ends of the ice well, thanks to Hitch. He's a great penalty killers due to his reach and anticipation, but Scott Arniel refused to play him on the PK. Now Arniel is back in Winnipeg looking for a job... Nash is a big body who can lean on defensemen during the game and wear them down. He has a great attitude and would fit into any locker room with ease. He'd be a natural in a Flyer's jersey, and playing with someone like Giroux I would expect him to be right back to the 50 goal mark.

That being said, Howson is playing a dangerous game trying to move him. Nash IS the face of the Blue Jackets and one of the few players the fans really relate to. Howson's mismanagement of the team has led to this situation, but trading Nash will likely result is a lot of casual fans not coming back to Nationwide Arena for a while. Nash is involved deeply in the community, rides the annual 100 mile "Pelotonia" cycling cancer fund raiser (along with Umberger), and acts as a great ambassador for the city.

If it weren't for his cap hit, the team that Nash would make the most sense going to is Vancouver. Their lack of muscle cost them the Cup last year and I don't see things being any different this year when it comes down to crunch time. The can't play Luongo and Schneider at the same time, so trading a goalie and a prospect like Hodgson for Nash would be a great deal both ways.

As for Steve Mason, the Flyer's were interested in him a couple of years ago. At that time it was still thought that he was going to return to his rookie form and be a dominant goalie in this league. Howson brought in Luongo's goaltending coach last off-season and thought this was turn Mason around. Bad gamble, Mason has been worse than ever and the players have zero confidence in him. You can see the whole team sag as soon as Mason lets one in. When career backup/minor league goalie Sanford plays, it like a whole different team is on the ice (Sanford is currently out with a back injury). Mason will need to try and get his game back in the minors or overseas. He's done in the NHL for now.

Enjoyed watching your boys on 24/7 this year and I catch a lot of games on Center Ice. Looks like Jake has fit in well and Sestito hasn't look bad when he has played (a lot of CBJ fans were sorry to see him go, another one of Howson's strange decisions.). Good luck with those pesky Rangers.

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