If I'm the CBJ I'd rather have Rick Nash at 7.8, even if its a slight overpayment, then not have Rick Nash at all.
He is the Blue Jackets and the best players in the clubs short history.
And in that history the BJ's have underperformed, missed playoffs, and are now on the way to being the worst team in the NHL.
Drafting and developing players has been that clubs biggest problem, though, not bad contracts.
It's pretty hard to separate the two, though. Nash's deal (and Howson's subsequent , desperate attempts to jump-start the BJ's) makes it effectively impossible for the team to address their draft shortcomings, which wouldn't be so insurmountable had Nash not been retained.
In other words, you can get away with having shaky drafts if you manage your cap space well and make intelligent signings, even in a small market. When Howson re-upped Nash, however, it completely removed all margin from error on the cap side, and placed huge importance on the draft to be able to provide entry-level guys to offset the heavy expenditure of the teams' internal cap in one dude.
If Howson was good at anything as a GM, Columbus might have a chance. Since he stinks at drafting, trading and signing players, though, they really don't. When he signed the Nash deal he tipped his hand, blew up the teams future cap situation, and put loads of pressure on his poor prospect pipeline to bail him out.
The stuff he's done post-Nash contract is just desperation and trying to figure out some way to get himself another year or two.
The immediate problem you're going to have is that I didn't say that. Assuming, of course, that kind of thing constitutes a 'problem' for your particular style of discussion.
The Nash deal was the first step in a series of missteps made by a bad GM. By giving Nash that contract one of two things were going to happen. 1) the BJ's would have limited resources to surround Nash with talent, ending up with a shallow team and an under-utilized star that's making market+ money. Or 2) the BJ's would have to (over)pay one or two or three other players in order to come in and surround Nash with a reasonable level of talent, sending the teams payroll spiraling upwards well above and beyond their ability to maintain such a level of spending.
As it happens, we got to see #1 happen for two years and now we're going to get to see #2 happen until Howson gets canned.
You may now continue to make insubstantial noises expressing disagreement with my position wholly absent of any correlating information save your own disagreement.
Anytime you want to submit anything to back your claim that the Nash contract killed Columbus, you go right ahead.
I've submitted the draft picks (not caused by the Nash contracts) and bad contracts to other players (not caused by the Nash contracts) as the real culprits.
And you've suggested nothing that would make any reasonable person believe that it's the Nash contract that killed the franchise.
You've only said it. And then ridiculed anything else said about it.