Photo: Rick Nash surrounded by the rest of the assembled talent in ColumbusOh my god, you guys... you'll never believe what has been said... Ottawa apparently... (fanning my face with my hands)... Ottawa has... (bites lip)... called the Blue Jackets organization to inquire on Rick Nash.
Speaking on the Blue Jackets Sunday Morning Skate on WBNS Columbus 97.1 The Fan, Jeff Rimer, the Blue Jackets' play-by-play broadcaster for Fox Sports Ohio, indicated that the Senators had expressed interest in Nash.
“Interesting enough that there’s a new suitor that will join the ranks of those interested in Nash; I was told this week by a NHL source that the Ottawa Senators have expressed some interest in acquiring Nash and they can join Toronto, the aforementioned New York Rangers, Philadelphia, San Jose, Boston and the Carolina Hurricanes.”
The blurb on the Senators occurs at the 21:20 mark of the program. You can download the mp3 of the show here or you can stream it below.
Suffice it to say, learning that Bryan Murray has kicked the tires on Nash is hardly surprising. He kicks the tires on everyone because that is the nature of what GMs do.
Further to the point, this information isn't new: Ottawa reportedly balked at Columbus' asking price on Nash back in May.
Whenever I think of Murray being linked to rumours, I'm still reminded of that instance in which a reporter asked Murray about some trade rumours and he brought up the topic of Pittsburgh start forward Evgeni Malkin. After reading that Pittsburgh was aggressively shopping Malkin in an effort to move up at the 2008 NHL Draft, Murray told reporters about his phone conversation with Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero in which he inquired on Malkin's availability and was subsequently laughed off the phone.
The moral of the story is that GMs inquire on players all of the time and for the majority of the time, these rumours are baseless in nature and are simply the result of due diligence.
Personally, I can't recall the last time that Ottawa was linked to a rumour and had it come to fruition and given the nature of this 'leaked' rumour, who stands to gain the most by putting it out there?
The obvious answer is the Blue Jackets.
By leaking this 'alleged' interest, the Jackets can use Ottawa as a tool to create leverage, inflate Nash's market value and hopefully extract a larger return out of a team like the New York Rangers. (Note: If you're not familiar with my take on acquiring Nash, you can read this link.)
Michalek's stock has never been higher and perhaps it has peaked while giving the illusion that he's a first line player. Therefore I'd be all for shipping him out however for any deal for Nash you'd have to expect Lehner to be what Columbus needs/wants and he is too important in our system.
If Murray got a decent roster player, a bad contract and a second round pick for Heatley after a good year, Nash is going to command a first, a top prospect and a roster player. More important than smokescreens and leverage will be how Columbus values assets in Ottawa's system vs prospects in other systems.
Consider that Columbus a)can't attract good free agents b)doesn't have a good track record of development and c)doesn't have good depth at the goalie position. I read this Columbus needing productive NHL players under contract or control.
So Ottawa has Gonchar and Michalek under short term contracts, several cheap young bottom six forwards, several prospects that are close to NHL ready and a developing goalie with a high ceiling looking for a change of scenery. Only asset Ottawa doesn't that Columbus wants is an unhappy quasi-star under a long, mildly expensive deal.
As I write this, there goes Barrett Jackman off Ottawa's radar.
"Personally, I can't recall the last time that Ottawa was linked to a rumour and had it come to fruition"
One that comes to mind is Kyle Turris, who was linked repeatedly to Ottawa on this website for several months last year.
@MelnyksHangovers Better question. When has an original rumour from Jeff RImer ever come to fruition?
@MelnyksHangovers I think Garrioch may have said Ottawa had called on Phoenix a time or two. I recall Denis Potvin going on French radio here in Ottawa and saying that Dorion was in Phoenix talking to their brass, but that's the extent of it.
I suppose Brennan relentlessly going on about Zenon Konopka qualifies as well.
Michael Russo in Minnesota also mentioned Ottawa as one of the teams, he's a more legit source: http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/159373125.html
Although who knows where he got it from.
@77Sens Looks like he got it from Rimer or Garrioch since he couched it by saying "reportedly".
I would not trust this Jeff Rimer guy, can't think of anything he's ever broken.
@Wham_City Well he mentioned "reportedly" for all the teams involved. Except for NYR it's all guesswork as to who's actually in the running.
It wouldn't surprise if Murray kicked the tires on Nash but I can't see him seriously considering the deal unless Alfie is retiring this summer since we'd need an immediate top-6.