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.)