In the Edmonton Journal, former Columbus GM Scott Howson spoke with Jim Matheson about how he traded Rick Nash to the Rangers over the summer.
In general, Howson said that dealing Nash was “very difficult” and that Nash and his representatives were committed to keeping the list of possible destinations small.
Howson says that he would call up Glen Sather with a request and Sather would say “no.”
He wanted players like Michael Del Zotto and Derek Stepan but “settled” for Tim Erixon, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov.
Howson also admitted that the team trading the star player never wins in this kind of trade and how in a perfect world, the compensation he would have liked for Nash would have been Ryan Callahan and Marc Staal.
Matheson notes that Glen Sather is the master of trading star players as he traded away Mark Messier, Paul Coffey and Wayne Gretzky while GM in Edmonton.
He says that Sather has always maintained that the return on star players is never as high as fans think it should be and that , “it’s the best you can do at the time.”
According to Bruce Garrioch in the Ottawa Sun, the Senators offered Columbus goalie Robin Lehner, winger Nick Foligno and 2011 first round pick Mika Zibanejad for Rick Nash.
Nash refused to accept a deal to Ottawa and the Blue Jackets subsequently acquired Foligno.
Garrioch writes that the Blue Jackets accepted the Rangers package of Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first round pick because “didn’t want this to drag on any longer.”
He also notes that Scott Howson didn’t want to trade Nash to another Western Conference team and that center Joe Pavelski was a player that the Blue Jackets could have had.
Adam Rotter: To me, Howson got two good players who will help his team this coming season and a very good young defenseman in Tim Erixon. It wasn’t the “home run” he wanted to hit, which is why the media killed him, but its’ a good enough haul for a player who wanted out. Pavelski would have been a better get for them, but the idea of Columbus not wanting to keep him out West adds to the belief that the only way the Sharks were going to get Nash was if they moved Logan Couture. Same situation with the Red Wings, a division rival who made a “hell of an offer.” Howson had to hit a home run and get young stars if he had to see Nash four or six times a season.
Rick Nash's legacy with the #CBJ: He played in five All-Star Games and four playoff games.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) July 23, 2012
On Nash, Portzline wrote in early July “The sense among NHL executives is that Nash will return to his dominating ways when he gets traded, that the weight of the franchise had taken a toll on him.”
Eddie Olcyzk said of Nash “Teams should be licking their chops to get this guy in their lineup. He has a chance to be a top-three goal-scorer in the league. Somebody is going to hit a grand slam with this guy.”
Rick Nash is a physical force-he has missed just 19 gms and averaged 35 goals per yr over last 5 seasons. Ranger fans will embrace his play.— John Giannone (@jaygeemsg) July 23, 2012
Gianone adds “Just how productive is Nash? In last 5 yrs, Nash would’ve ranked 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st & 1st on NYR in goals. And that was with bad CBJ teams.”
According to Larry Brooks in the NY Post, Scott Howson is demanding Derek Stepan in a deal for Rick Nash and Glen Sather still refuses to include Stepan in any deal.
Brooks writes “ This isn’t just a measure of Stepan’s value as a player straight-up against Nash’s value. It is a measure of Stepan’s value carrying an $875,000 cap hit without the possibility of salary arbitration on at least his next contract against Nash’s value carrying a $7.8 million cap hit through 2017-18.”