Market forces in team’s favor
The Blue Jackets’ exhaustive approach to trading captain Rich Nash has churned ahead in fits and starts for more than five months now, swerving through February’s NHL trade deadline amid a swirl of confusion, and slipping through last month’s NHL draft with barely a hint that a trade was close.
Yesterday, on the fourth day since NHL free agency opened, the latest obstacle to getting a high-quality offer for Nash — real or imagined — was removed from the straight-line path Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson has taken from the start.
Zach Parise, the top free-agent forward available on the market this year, signed a 13-year, $98 million contract with Minnesota. Defenseman Ryan Suter got the same deal to join the Wild, launching the “State of Hockey” into a state of euphoria not seen since the Wild made a surprising run to the Western Conference finals in 2003.