Nash says No to Canada
The Blue Jackets pursuit of a trade for captain Rick Nash has now stretched two weeks into NHL free agency. It could continue to drag on deep into the summer, into training camp in September and even into the regular season. Or it could end with one phone call.
Here are some outtakes and observations of where it stands as of this morning:
One aspects revealed by Nash’s list of “approved” destinations — Boston, Detroit, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Jose — it’s that he’d rather play for his country than in his country. Not one of Canada’s seven NHL franchises made the list, including the club Nash grew up worshipping, the Toronto Maple Leafs. What does that say?
“It says he wants to get away,” said former NHL defenseman Brian Engblom, now an NBC analyst. “Every guy is different. Look at the kid (Justin Schultz) that just signed with Edmonton as a free agent. From what I could tell, he only wanted to play in Canada. I played in Canadian and U.S. markets, and I can tell you, it is different. To each his own. Some guys thrive on being under that microscope, of having that daily pressure of everybody watching you. And some guys really don’t like that.”