This topic will get a lot of play next offseason and especially once the season begins when the decision becomes more urgent. But the thought crossed my mind today so I figured to give some people a chance to debate it a year early when there's less immediate impact.
Nash has but two years left on his contract (08-09 and 09-10). His cap hit is a reasonable $5.4m but actual dollars are $6.5 and $7.0m. After next season he becomes an UFA. That's right, able to sign anywhere he wants with no compensation. And he will be just 26 years of age and still in the prime of his career.
Nash has averaged 72gms, 30g, 24a, 55pts. He has significantly turned his defensive play around since he was a -62 after his first two seasons. There is no doubt he is the face of this franchise but is he really the superstar that will carry this team to the promised land. He has yet to put up superstar numbers for this team although a case can be made that he hasn't had much support. He has shown flashes of brilliance and domination (mostly in international competitions) but not the NHL where I want to see more of it.
-Have there been enough positive changes in this team this season to give Rick a chance for a break out year or will he ever break out.
-Shouldn't we hold Rick to a higher standard and quit using excuses for his production. I mean real superstars create their own statistics right?
-What if he does break out but our team still fails to make the playoffs. Is Rick so important to our team and this franchise that his salary isn't important in the grand scheme of things and we should lock him up no matter what.
-What is Rick going to ask for in his next contract. He is going to make $7m next year Does he currently deserve to be in the same pay category as other superstars in the league (ie: Lidstrom, Iginla, Kovy, etc.) and will he be demanding to be amongst the elite pay range players (ie: Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin ) in his next contract?
- What kind of assets would he fetch that could help our team at next years trade deadline, help with both salary and the holes in our roster that a player like Nash could return.
Until a new franchise player steps up he deserves all the credit he can get and i also see no reason not to make excuses as he is no play maker but sorely could use a good one. After all every time Nash plays for Canada he play on their top line, coincidence?
What he really wants first is a good center to enhance his game as well as our entire first liner's. Not getting that player this year could speak volumes on the negotiations between Nash and Howson in 2 years.
There are definitely some similarities. Vinny didn't really have his superstar breakout until his 8th season, Nasher is heading into his 6th. Hopefully he won't take as long to reach his breakout. (Or the Jackets take that long to give him talent to work with)
Brassard's top end ability is a perfect center for Nash. Hopefully he gets there and hopefully it is in a reasonable amount of time. I don't expect it this year. That's why I'd go after another top 6 player.
On Nash I'd sign him to a
12 year 90 million dollar and not regret a dime of it. That is 7.5 per.
I repeatedly said since the team hit the wall after the allstar break that Unless they make the playoffs this season and make it to at least the second round by the following season, I'm guessing Nash walks. We can't simply depend on good will towards a team that drafted you. Ask yourself, if Scott Howson were the GM in 02, would he have moved up to draft Nash? What place would the Jackets have been in for that draft? So many questions....
He's been promised help and each year it hasn't been delivered upon adequetely. This organization has never had a true, no-nonsense, number one center...EVER. He's Been a good soldier and says all the right things. He's been the face of the Franchise since really, the 03-04 season. This offseason, above all others allowed us the chance to compete monetarily for Offense and we got some decent pieces back, but lost some pieces as well.
Nash pretty much had to do it all after Zherdev's production hit the wall a few weeks after the allstar break too. Notice that we had no offense when Nash went into a slump for about 10 games from late January to late Feb.
I doubt Nash sticks around for a raise, something has to compel him to, either way, we're running out of time.