directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Nash at center...?

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nash at center...?

Here is some former player reaction (courtesy of HFBoards):

Humor aside...I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this one.



Anonymous said...

Kind of interesting that we are comparing Nash to Zherdev and Vybes in this context. Different games, so beyond the obvious simularity (a beyonds simplistic comparison) it's a different situation.

So just curious, with the center situation we have (including the 'Cuse) what would you do?

Play Manny, Peca, Novotny, Murray, Filatov?

Manny hasn't shown much up there and RJ was obviously struggling, what are you doing to do with Modin and Torres coming back, likely within the next week?

This obviously smacks of a hint of desperation to get Nash going.

It's pretty easy to make the obvious jokes (or to cry), but your Hitch, what would you do?

Max said...

I'm going to the game on Saturday. I'll let you all know how it turns out. Go Jackets.

LTL said...

I would move Brassard to #1 center and/or look to acquire another center....and I'm not talking sacraficing the world, a Robert Lang type as a stopgap would suffice.

..and its not any different than moving Z to center IMO. Taking players who have played their entire career and moving them to a new position hoping to find lightning in a bottle rarely works.

Just looking at the Jackets this did not work for Z, Modin or Vyborny. Why am I to believe it would it work for Nash? A player who has had a terrible go of it thus far getting back defensively even as a wing this season.

It is a desperation move. I applaud Hitch for thinking out of the box but to me the only thing this does is send a clear message to upper management that Hitch is not happy with his center situation.


Anonymous said...

It is absolutely desperation and regardless of the ways you can potentially spin this, it leaves me feeling depressed. Not just the move, but putting Chimmer on the first line? I know the kid line has been incredible...but he brings something to Brassard and Voracek. Those on the top line don't need the same thing. Less than ten games into the season and this is where we are?

Anonymous said...


I am sure Howson is still looking for a center. Not sure if we're any better off with a Lang type, to be honest.

Having said that, I wouldn't break up Brassard and Jake. I have mentioned to people putting Nash on their wing. But everthing is trickle down. Your then looking at a 2nd line something like Huselius (Modin) / RJ / Chimera (Torres). I know that doesn't excite me. While I must say a Modin/Peca/Torres, with a RJ/Brass/Jake perks me up a bit. That is a pretty solid 2/3 lines. Who can't be happy with Murray/Manny/Boll/Dorsett/Novotny available to fill out the 4th line? We know Nash and Huselius are going to fill out the top line, it's just how you shuffle the deck. Chimera on the top line, if nothing else, gives that line a strong forechecker. Something they don't have right now. I can see the logic in what he's trying to do.

No ones going to part with a good center at this point (without us giving up the world), nor are we going to find one on the bargain bin. We didn't acquire another center for a reason.

In the long run, I see nothing that makes me believe that Nash CAN'T play center. He has the skill set.

No one can offer a real good reason not to look at it, other then he's never played it or they don't think it would work.

I remain neutral on things until I see it in action. Hitch must have saw something decent in practice to have him consider moving forward with this idea.

As far you your comment about "The only thing this does....", assumes that Nash is going to be ineffective. The risk is very low (it's not like your going to ruin him), the upside could potentially be large.

Frankly, Howson already knows the situation. He doesn't need Hitch to send him a message. To suggest otherwise, it kind of silly really.

Have your reservations, fine. But judging before you see the results is pretty short sighted.

LTL said...


Good post!

One thing to keep in mind is that I'm not blindly saying it won't work. I've seen it tried numerous times before and it rarely produces results.

Nash is a skilled power forward. His game is to be responsible defensively but to use his size and puck skills to drive the net and create scoring chances. He's not the dig the puck out defensive workhorse or above average playmaker your centers need to be. I rarely see him be the first forward back in the defensive zone and I don't think he's much in the faceoff circle either - although we haven't seen him there much.

Its kind of like moving your other elite wingers to center like a Kovalchuk, Iginla, Ovechkin -- I don't see it working for them either. There strengths lend them to playing wings.

I'll watch with great interest of course and hope it works or creates a spark but hey, I'm not always going to agree with the big man - what fun is that?

As far as Howson.. I hope he's got the message but I'm just a fan in the cheap seats commenting on the situation not an insider.

Thanks again for the post.