Anonymous player told Nash “You have to get out of” Columbus

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Beat reporter Aaron Portzline gathered 61 thoughts on departed Columbus Blue Jackets star Rick Nash, paying tribute to his jersey number.

Portzline goes deep, but this little bit ranks as the juiciest:

There were instances last season, before the trade stuff started, when other NHL players were directly advising Nash to leave. One player tells The Dispatch: “I skated over to him before a faceoff and just told him ‘you have to get out of here. Put your agent to work and get it done.’” Many were surprised last February to learn that Nash had asked to be traded. From what I can glean, players around the league were only shocked that it took him so long.

Portzline also discusses other forces that prompted Nash to bite the bullet, including his father.

There are a lot of other really interesting bits in Portzline’s lengthy post, but his take on where Nash might end up in the New York Rangers lineup is also quite intriguing:

No. 4 = Wonder which line Nash will play on with the Rangers? Most expect him to step in with Brad Richards, a playmaker extraordinaire. My hunch is he’ll fit best with Derek Stepan, but – as a guy who sees the Western Conference almost exclusively – I’m not entirely keyed in on Stepan’s game. Nash needs the puck to be successful. He doesn’t find space in the offensive zone and rip one-timers; he hauls it to net. This will be interesting.