Monday, July 2, 2012

Nash vs. Howson: Who is to blame for this mess?

We Blue Jackets fans are following the Rick Nash saga very closely and a lot of blame is being thrown around.  I was just reading some of the "arguments" on Twitter and hockey message boards.  Some are blaming Rick Nash for this mess.  Others are blaming Scott Howson.  Here's my take...

There is no need for all these senseless arguments.  It is quite clear that both Nash and Howson deserve blame.

Why I blame Nash:

1. He is the captain and leader of the Blue Jackets.  He is giving up on his team. He signed a long term commitment to the Jackets.  He even balked at the Jackets' first offer, demanding more money.  He got his money.  He needs to honor his contract.
2. If he wants out that badly, then he should not be so strict with his list of teams to which he'd accept a trade.  I can understand a list (his no movement clause in his contract grants him that).  I just think his list should be a little more extensive.  Perhaps 10 teams instead of the rumored 5.  *Note: please understand that I am basing my opinions on the current (assumed correct) information floating around the web about this infamous list.  I understand and admit that the information we think is correct may be flawed.

Why I blame Howson:

1. He could not build a winning team.  Had he done so, Nash would not be in this position in the first place. He is 28 and wants to play for a winner.  Can't argue that logic.  Howson has not built a winner and doesn't seem any closer today than he did when he first became GM.  
2. I do not agree with the way he handled the situation.  I don't see how announcing to the media that Rick Nash requested a trade gained him leverage in the trade market.  Other GM's did not need to know that.  I think return value would have been higher if other GM's thought they had to PRY Rick Nash away from the Jackets.

So there you have it.  I just don't get all the arguing.  It's seems pretty crystal clear that there is blame to share on both sides.  Now granted, one can argue that either Nash or Howson deserves MORE blame than the other.  That's completely understandable.  I have my opinion but I won't go into that here.  Okay, I will, it's Howson.  But I also have to say that management must share blame too.  Ownership should have stepped in and fired Howson (and perhaps Priest too) a long time ago.  He has not been able to build a winner and now he is inexplicably being trusted to deal with the biggest name and best player in franchise history.

I am just not confident that this will work out for the Jackets but I hope I am dead wrong.  Prove me wrong, Scott!


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