Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is still trying to find a way to deal Rick Nash. His demands are high, maybe too high, but he does have someone that understands him in former Jackets forward Michael Peca.
Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch breaks down whether or not the price for Nash is too high and Peca tells him it’s all part of the process of trying to make a trade.
“Scott is trying to rob somebody, and he has that right,” said Michael Peca, a longtime NHL player, including with Columbus, and now an analyst for TSN, a Canadian sports channel. “And you know some teams are trying to get Nash from (Howson) without giving up anything of consequence.”
If you scoped out what any armchair GM on the Internet was cooking up to land Nash for their favorite team, you know that to be true. Then again, when Howson is asking for guys like Jeff Skinner or Logan Couture or Chris Kreider, those are deals that just aren’t going to materialize.
It’s a high-stakes game of chicken at this point and Howson seems determined not to swerve out of the way until he gets what he wants. If that means going head-on into the season with Nash still in Columbus, so be it. How delightfully awkward.
At one point in his playing career, Michael Peca was a hero to those in Buffalo as he was captain of the Sabres. During his five seasons with the Sabres, Peca was a 20-25 goal per season player and matched up well against most of the big centers at that time. After stints in Edmonton, Long Island, and Columbus, Peca called it a career and joined TSN as a studio analyst.
Now, Peca is leaving the TV studio and making a run at a hockey front office job in Buffalo… Just not in the NHL. Peca has signed on to become the general manager for the Buffalo Junior Sabres and give himself a chance at seeing what he can do putting together a team of youngsters. There, Peca will be helping put together a team for coach and fellow Sabres alum Grant Ledyard to help become winners.
Seeing former NHLers take roles in junior hockey leadership is nothing new. In fact, it’s the road you see many ex-players take. Guys like Doug Gilmour and Dale Hunter have taken roles in coaching junior teams in Canada. Meanwhile, former Sabres defenseman in his own right, Bob Boughner made a name for himself coaching in the OHL as well. Boughner just recently returned to the OHL after a year assisting Scott Arniel in Columbus, signing on to be the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires.
The kind of junior hockey those guys are handling compared to what Peca is doing with the Junior Sabres is at a much higher level. That said, for Peca this is a start down a path towards a different kind of career in hockey and the kind of thing one has to do if they want to become a GM or team executive at another level. If he can have success again in Buffalo, he’ll be on the road to bigger and better things.