Getty ImagesWho would have thought that the final full week in July would be so busy with hockey news? Kris Versteeg, Lubomir Visnovsky and Rick Nash all made waves on Monday, with the Columbus Blue Jackets finally dealing their captain after months of trying and oh so many rumors.
Nash entered the Blue Jackets organization in their third year of existence in the NHL. At the end of the 2007-08 season the then-23-year old was named the franchises' fifth captain. He's been the face of the organization for a long time, devoting himself through nine seasons with just four playoff games and a single winning record over that time. It was a long break up, one that had to occur eventually as long as GM Scott Howson was staying in charge.
Now, as the Columbus Dispatch's Shawn Mitchell points out, Jared Boll is your longest-tenured Blue Jacket, having joined the club in 2007.
While trading the franchise's best player signals a huge change in the direction of the franchise, the captain's absence isn't being panned by Blue Jackets fans.
Many, like Mike MacLean of The Cannon, understood the tough spot Howson was in and feel he made the best of a bad situation going forward:
Read More »from With Rick Nash gone, Blue Jackets moving on with new identity
At first I was underwhelmed, but the more I think about it, the more I like the deal, given the circumstances. I feel for Howson, he was in a terrible position from the get-go, and did well to add players that can help the team win now, and assets to help the team in the future. It remains to be seen what kind of impact a player who recently held-out, a player who demanded a trade from the team that drafted him, a young Russian and a late first rounder will have, but if nothing else, it feels good to have the Rick Nash saga come to a close.