Features

Rick Nash Addresses the Media Following Trade Deadline

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 2:55 PM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

For Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, one thing has never been in question: he desperately wants to win hockey games in the city of Columbus. That’s why he elected to sign a long-term contract extension with the club in 2009. He has been the face of the franchise and its best player since being the first overall pick in the 2002 Entry Draft.

The possibility of the Blue Jackets and Rick Nash parting ways via trade has dominated the days leading up to yesterday’s NHL trade deadline. The deadline came and went with the Blue Jackets captain still just that – the Blue Jackets captain – and with the knowledge that he had approached the club in late-January and asked that it consider trading him.

It was neither a demand nor an edict, but a request geared towards the best interests of a franchise looking to re-shape its roster and a player who will turn 28 in June and is in the prime of his career.

“I was informed by management that there was a rebuild - a reshape of the team,” Nash said this morning. “I personally felt I could be a huge part of that with bringing assets (in return from a trade). I think that, in my view, was the best thing for the team, the organization and personally for my career.”

Though a deal could not be struck prior the 3 p.m. deadline yesterday, Nash said he remains optimistic that the process will progress in the offseason and both parties are able to accomplish what they set out to do.

“I understand Scott has got to make a fair deal and I want what’s best for the team and for the organization,” he said.

One of the first things Nash did when he arrived at Nationwide Arena this morning was meet with his teammates and address the situation as any captain would: with honesty and full transparency. It was appreciated by the Blue Jackets and reflective on Nash’s character.

“It went over well – as well as it could, I guess,” Nash said. “It’s been tough for them, especially with me being the leader and the captain. But I was honest with them and told them everything I’m telling you guys, and they all respected that and supported me and stood behind me.”

That opinion was shared by the group. Simply put: they stand behind their captain 100 percent.

“It just shows the kind of person and the kind of man he is,” Derek Dorsett said. “We all understand this business. No one in here is mad at Rick or mad at the Blue Jackets. We'll move on from it and we know Rick is going to give 110 percent the rest of the way."

There has been speculation Nash went to the Blue Jackets ownership group and demanded a change in management, and if the demand was not met, he would seek a trade.

Nash vehemently denied that, while also refuting the notion that his trade request resulted in a lack of confidence in team management. He also said that his focus moving forward will be on the next 20 games and giving everything he’s got for the organization, the city and its fans.

“I believe in ownership. I believe in Scott Howson. I love being a Blue Jacket, love the city, love the fans and that is something that will never change.”

“I’m going to worry about the next 20 games, and worry about playing those and giving everything I can to the city, to the fans,” Nash said. “They’ve stood behind me my whole career and hopefully I’ve offered them a bunch of things to talk about. I think the biggest thing is I’m a Blue Jacket, I’m a captain and I’m going to be giving 100 percent to this whole city and this organization.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Johansen 82 33 30 3 63
J. Wisniewski 75 7 44 0 51
B. Dubinsky 76 16 34 5 50
C. Atkinson 79 21 19 -4 40
A. Anisimov 81 22 17 -2 39
N. Foligno 70 18 21 5 39
R. Umberger 74 18 16 -3 34
M. Letestu 82 12 22 1 34
J. Johnson 82 5 28 -7 33
B. Jenner 72 16 13 6 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 32 20 5 .923 2.38
C. McElhinney 10 11 1 .909 2.70
 
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