Columnist: Nash painted as the villain in Columbus

getty
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Reactions continue to pour in from yesterday’s press conference in Columbus, when Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson told reporters it was captain Rick Nash that asked for a trade — not the other way around.

The presser has been described by many as the final argument of what will ultimately end in divorce, something expressed by the National Post’s Michael Traikos:

Why would Howson reveal this nugget of information? Why make Nash look bad? Was Howson trying to save face in front of the fans after coming away empty on Monday? Was this a hardball tactic to pressure Nash to increase the number of teams he is willing to be traded to?

This was not doing the “right thing” or being “truthful.” This was mean and hurtful.

The only logical explanation for Howson’s strategy — if you can call it that — is he tried to curry favor in the court of public opinion, which is kind of ridiculous. The best way for Howson to curry favor would be to build a good team, which will be more difficult now that his negotiating power’s weakened. How can Howson deal from a position of strength when it’s clear Nash is calling the shots?

More, from Traikos:

Howson has to make sure he does not let his golden goose walk for nothing. He has the Jackets’ future to think of. He has his own job to think of. But his outing of Nash’s wishes to get out of Columbus rather than stay for another rebuilding process will likely not end well. Those players who are set to become free agents in the summer will remember how Howson handled the situation.

The delicious, delicious irony here is that during yesterday’s presser, Howson talked about the need to “create a winning culture to attract free agents.” And he said this in the middle of a press conference calling out the team captain.

If that doesn’t say “organization I want to be a part of,” I’m not sure what does.