After weeks of speculation and countless rumors making their way through the media, Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash is staying put.
But comments from Columbus’ general manager Scott Howson still leave room for speculation about how long Nash will remain at Nationwide Arena.
The National Hockey League trade deadline came and went at 3 p.m. Monday, and Nash was not moved despite Howson entertaining offers for Nash from multiple teams, according to reports.
The lack of movement for Nash could become an awkward situation for the Blue Jackets after Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick, issued a statement to The Sporting News that pushed for a deal to be done by Monday’s deadline.
“We’re hopeful a deal can get done prior to the trade deadline that is fair and equitable for the Blue Jackets,” Resnick said in his statement. “However, if a deal is not reached, then the list of acceptable teams will not change at a later date.”
Resnick referenced reports that Nash’s list of teams that he would approve for a trade would change if the Blue Jackets moved him over the summer.
A no-trade clause in Nash’s contract puts him in the driver’s seat for which team he would end up with if a trade were to be made in the future.
And, in a twist contrary to initial reports, Howson said in a press conference following Monday’s deadline that it was Nash who approached him about a trade and not vice versa.
Nash had been adamant with the media about never asking the Blue Jackets to be traded.
The rift between Nash and the general manager likely won’t improve as they are now in a public disagreement about the origin of the trade rumors.
After Monday’s trade deadline past, Howson said Nash first approached the organization about a trade.
Though Nash was the focus of the trade deadline league-wide, the Blue Jackets did make a trio of moves in the week leading up to the deadline.
The only move the Blue Jackets made Monday involved sending center Sammy Pahlsson to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for two-2012 fourth-round picks.
Former center Antoine Vermette was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday in exchange for goalie Curtis McElhinney, a 2012 second-round pick and a 2013 fifth-round pick.
Since the 2009 season, McElhinney has been a member of four NHL squads and is rehabilitating an injury in the American Hockey League.
Former Blue Jackets center Jeff Carter was shipped to Los Angeles on Thursday for defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first round pick. The condition is that the Blue Jackets will be able to choose if they want the pick to be in this year’s entry draft or next year’s.
There was an audible roar from the crowd when the trade was announced prior to the start of Friday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.
Johnson, a former University of Michigan player, received an ovation from those in attendance when he arrived midway through the game.
Howson made it clear that his most recent rebuilding of the Blue Jackets will be focused on drafting well as he stock-piled draft picks and only received two players in exchange for the three he dealt.
The Blue Jackets will continue their season Tuesday when they host the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.