Lots of good early signs coming from both the Jackets camp and the Nash camp today.
The Dispatch has some good info in an blog post and their chat session. Some highlights:
Howson called the meeting to share with Nash and Resnick his vision for the Blue Jackets future: how the club will be built, where Nash fits in, how other clubs have been built with elite players, etc.
"I wanted Rick to see what we have planned and how big a part of it he is," Howson said. "We've had conversations before, but none of this length."
Both Howson and Resnick agreed that it's highly unlikely a contract extension will be signed on Wednesday.
"This is just the start of the process," Resnick said.
"I've come up right through the ranks, now the captain," Nash said. "I love the organization. I love everything about it. But it's a matter of business. Nobody wants to rob the other person, we just both want to be satisfied."
I like part from the chat from Portzline:
Just talking to Rick, he said he's torn between a 4 or 5 year deal and the idea of having a monster long-term deal, say in the 10-year range. I get the sense that he'd sign the latter if the money was right. My guess is he'll make in the $6.5M to $8M range per year. Cap hit around $7M to $7.5M.
The AP has a story up as well with some juicy quotes:
His agent, Joe Resnick, said Tuesday that Nash loves Columbus and the Blue Jackets. But that only goes so far.
"Confident of a deal? It's really up to the Blue Jackets," he said. "We're definitely going to listen and take in everything they have to say. Hopefully we can get a deal done."
"Obviously, he's what makes this car run," said 20-year-old goalie Steve Mason, the NHL's rookie of the year. "He's our leader. It'll be an important piece to get him signed, hopefully for a long term."
"Term is definitely a huge factor," Resnick said. "Rick could do a long-term deal, based on his age, and then come out of it at 33 or 34 and still have several years ahead of him."
"For us to make splashes in the free-agent market and for guys to want to come here, having his name signed long-term is a big important piece," forward R.J. Umberger said. "Nowadays anything is possible. People are moving around so much. You just never know. You just hope with these long contracts that they're doing these days that can help keep a player with a team for a long time."
If you're a fan of getting Rick Nash signed to a long term extension there are a ton of positives to be gleaned from quotes like these.
I have been following the NHL for a long time. Anyone who reads this blog knows I like to read into what is said and in a lot of cases, what isn't.
There have been a lot of negotiations that I have followed and to have both parties expressing such interest publicly liks these is an extremely good sign.
This is gonna get done folks.... and I think it's gonna get done very quickly.
Both sides are motivated.
Howson has the salary structure available to make Nash a very fair offer. He knows how important it is to keep his franchise player and captain happy and as the focal point of this franchise. He knows he is only going to get better. Remember he's only 25! Players like this absolutely do not come along oftern.
Nash is the captain and the franchise. He freely admits he loves the city. He sees the talent sprouting up all around him. He sees the direction. He sees the leadership. He sees the steps taken. The grass will not be greener elsewhere.
After reading the latest quotes from both sides, I'm now guessing Nash gets extended in that 8 to 10 year range. It will be front loaded and I agree with Portzline that it will be an average cap hit in the neighborhood of 7 to 8 mil.
It will be a helluva committment from both sides, but one that makes a helluva lot of sense.
Exciting times. Get it done boys.