directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Nash on re-signing with the Jackets: "If everything lined up right"

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nash on re-signing with the Jackets: "If everything lined up right"

The Dispatch ran a story this morning regarding Rick Nash's opinion on the Jackets offseason. He gave the text book answers that he's excited, etc, etc. Howerver where it gets really interesting is when the article starts talking about Nash's long term future with the Jackets. He's scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in two years time:

"It's always in your head obviously about (where) your following years will be," said Nash, who scored 38 goals last season. "I'm happy in Columbus; I love it in Columbus. I would stay here if everything lined up right."

The quote that stands out of course is the "If everything line up right".

Fans from here to Toronto will read into that statement in many different ways. Does "lining up right" refer to money, term, winning, playoffs, coaching, committment, management?

I would suspsect its a combination of all of that.

GM Scott Howson left no doubt as to what the organization's plans are:

"Hopefully, (a new contract) is something we can arrive at mutually," Howson said.

One option is a "lifetime" deal similar to the one Tampa Bay Lightning lavished on captain Vincent Lecavalier. The 28-year-old center agreed to an 11-year, $85 million contract on July 12. In January, the Washington Capitals locked up Alex Ovechkin for 13 years at $124 million.

"We have not done one yet," Howson said. "But if we were going to do it, Rick is the person we would like to do it with.

"Obviously, we want him to be with the Jackets for a long, long time, but it's still very early in the process and we have him under contract for two more years."

The bottom line is this - there is really no sense in worrying about Nash until July 1st of next offseason. If the Jackets can't get him signed at some point next summer to an extension then that will be the time to ramp up the speculation.

Nash is the captain. He is the franchise. There is a lot of pressure on him to lead this team to the playoffs. He seems up to the challenge as great players do. Howson has surrounded him with quality linemates and there are a lot of young players to get excited about in the pipeline.

If the Jackets can go out and have a successfull season it will certainly go a long way towards getting Nash and fans excited again about this franchise and quite frankly who would want to jump ship just when its finally setting sail.

Here is a good read on the St. Louis Blues and their chances at the post-season. There is a Jackets nugget included:

Nevertheless, is it fair to expect them to give Detroit a run for their money in the Central Division next year? (I’ll wait ‘till you’re done laughing out the answer before I continue.)

Is it smart to think the Blues will be better than a Chicago Blackhawks squad that looks primed and ready to make a huge jump in the standings?

Is it rational to assume St. Louis will finish ahead of the Nashville Predators, who still have more or less the same healthy mix of youth and experience that secured a playoff spot for them last year?

Heck, even the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets appear to be at least somewhat improved.

And let’s not forget about teams outside of the Blues’ division; if you assume Detroit, San Jose, Anaheim, and Dallas are playoff locks in the Western Conference, are you honestly prepared to say St. Louis will edge out Minnesota, Calgary, Edmonton, Phoenix, and Colorado – not to mention their Central Division foes – for one of the final four post-season berths?

To me the only locks are Detroit and San Jose. I think the West will be wild and is wide open this year - lots of competitive teams - and it wouldn't suprise me in the least to see a perenial contender the last few years take a nose dive.

Intersting that has picked up on the Commodore comments from the Dispatch about Ottawa's locker room being "complacent". Quite frankly I think Commodore was taking it real easy on that mess that was reported over and over and over again regarding the state of the squad last season.

The Jackets have signed Michael York according to Puck-rakers to a 2-way contract. I'll have some anaylsis on that deal a little later today.



Anonymous said...

I think things are finally starting to turn in Columbus, and I don't think Nash has actually thought that far out. They answer a question that a reporter asks that kind of comes out of nowhere and they respond on the spot...then whatever they say gets analyzed and picked apart endlessly. Rick does not strike me as a money grubber, nor does he strike me as a guy who needs to play in a crazed market like Toronto. Had Maclean still been involved and still running things into the ground I could see him wanting out, without a doubt.

The players of this team have a really special opportunity to bring this team to a place it's never been before. If they make the playoffs, the city will be as amped up as a team who goes to the finals. It is going to be a special thing to be a part of and that will propel them into the next few years with excitement and hope.

Erik said...

You know what really ticks me off is the so called hockey experts, those writers who do this for a living. Every single article they are either talking down the Jackets or are completely indifferent. The perennial rugmat approach to the CBJ is even more infuriating when you see the coverage and articles on the Blackhawks. For some reason they seem to either compare the Blackhawks to last years Penguins, or to an upcoming dynasty.. What are these guys smoking, seriously? First off they are already at the Cap and when their young talent is up for a new contract something has to give, all indications are that this Blackhawk squad will have a lot of different members in the next 5 years. The GM really has to pull some magical tricks to keep this squad together. Secondly, they are relying quite a bit on young talent, which in my opinion is not going to give you solid dependable play game by game (sophomore slump anyone??). Their defense has always lacked a solid stay-at-home defenseman, and they decide to lockdown Campbell for 7 mil a season?? Campbell is one of the most offensively gifted defensemen in the league, but defensively he is only above average.. Campbell really shines when is surrounded by solid stay-at-home defensemen.. Which are in short supply in Chicago.. Sure they are a much improved team that will be in the fight for a playoff spot, but there still a lot of holes, and certainly a very uncertain future for this franchise. Personally I admire that the Blackhawks are going to push hard this season for a playoff run, but at what cost for the future. The CBJ approach is a much more patient and sensible approach to building a playoff contender, and so far all the moves are pointing us in the right direction. I guess hockey writers are not as excited about solid sensible decision making as they are about splashes of madness… I can’t wait for this season to start so the CBJ can make a bold statement on the ice… we need to prove them wrong….

tom said...

LTL - Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner... Previously you wrote..."Not sure if anyone caught the ESPYs last night (I had an adult hockey league game so I missed them) but our boy Nasher was up for "play of the year". He didn't win but by all accounts it was some really great exposure for Nash and the Jackets." I too had an adult hockey game that evening and missed the ESPYs as a result. I know the Rox and Fireballs were on the ice at the time too. Are you in Adult D? Which team? I've probably played against ya and would like to buy you a beer sometime. Thanks for the LTL blog...

markislander said...

Well i hope things will turn around so that way Nash won"t even think about leaving,but it is a business for these guys we do have to keep that in mind.So lets just keep going forward make the moves that have to be made and make the dam playoffs.

LTL said...

Hey Tom.. I play on Thurs and Sun. If it was Sunday I play on the IceBreakers. Thurs is the Rhinos.

Great group of guys on both squads and there is nothing like getting out there and trying to play this great game (and I stress "try" haha)!


Mike said...

I think it was on, but there was a maple leaf blogger who suggested toronto possibly having interest in Nasher when his contract expires in 2010. It was hilarious though, because what they had toronto sending back to columbus was a joke compared to a guy like nash. It was rather a laughable read. Steen and Poniarsky (sp?) was two of the players they suggested. Anywho, the Mike York signing looks interesting, hell he could not be ANY WORSE than novotny.

Max said...

Hey Tom! And LTL for that matter:
Fireballs and Rox? I'm one of the founding members of the Fireballs. Number 8, center. Tom what team are you on? And LTL, is North after South or will we be playing you next session? P.S. Do you know the midget goalie on the Monkeys? or perhaps a skater with girl's hair? He's the same guy, also one of the founding Fireballs... just a little OT!!!

tom said...

Hey Max, LTL...

Thursdays I play on the Rusty Pucks. On Sunday, I'm on the Herd. The Rhinos and the Monkeys beat us up this session.

Max, good luck in the upcoming playoffs...we'll see you there. Chris really isn't a midget!