directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Nash comes of age

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nash comes of age

Puck-rakers is reporting that Rick Nash will be named Captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This will make the 5th Captain in the Blue Jackets 8 year existence.

Lyle Odelein 2000-02
Ray Whitney 2002-03
Luke Richardson 2003-05
Adam Foote 2005-08
Rick Nash 2008 - present

For me as a fan, this is an exciting moment in Blue Jackets history.

I have watched Nash come into this league as a wide eyed kid and have seen him grow into a young man who wanted this responsibility. Make no mistake about it, Rick Nash wanted to lead this team.

No quiting, no forced trades, no overaged veterans, no false promises, no quick fixes, no bullshit.

More importantly, no more paid mercenaries like Luke Richardson or Adam Foote who just kind of fell in the role by default as they were older and experienced yet really had no invested or emotional interest in seeing this franchise succeed. It was more about the dollars to those players.

Nash, on the other hand, will be the first drafted player by the Columbus Blue Jackets to be its Captain. He is the only player its selected with the #1 overall pick.

Columbus is all Nash knows at the NHL level. He represents the team, the franchise, the city and its fans with class and respect. He knows about selling and growing hockey in this market and he's seen how dedicated these fans can be when given something to be proud of.

He has also seen the place Columbus currently holds in the NHL landscape and he wants to change it, not run-away from it.

He believes in Columbus.

He's been here for the lowest of lows and wants to lead it to the highest of highs. Now in his 5th season he has the experience and he's watched and learned from other leaders throughout the league.

He's been groomed for this role. He wants the challenge. He's grown with the other emerging young leaders on this team in Rusty Klesla, Jason Chimera and Pascal Leclaire. He's got the respect and clout in that locker room. Hopefully this is a signal that he wants to be a Blue Jacket for life.

Its an exciting day CBJ fans. This is a big transition point in the Blue Jackets history and Nash's maturity as a player.

All the greats took this step from Modano, Yzerman, Sakic, Lemiux, Bourque to present day young stars like Crosby and Lecavalier.

Its Nash's team now. Its his turn to lead it.


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