"I wish I was home with a big bag of potato chips. Mmmm, potato chips"

I do not envy Scott Howson. Sure, he makes more money than I’ll probably ever see and sure, he’s the general manager of an NHL team, a job that I obviously covet (I know you feel that seat getting hotter, Burke) but Scott Howson’s life is starting to get difficult. To be fair, he’s in a tricky situation. Any time your star player and the face of your franchise wants to be traded away from the team he is the star and face of, you’re probably not going to be loving your job. Regardless of fairness or morality, if a player wants to request a trade like they’re bored playing Madden’s Superstar Mode, it’s entirely within their right to do so.

Obviously, it is then the general manager’s job to go out and get the best return possible for a superstar and not just panic and make whatever trade is available. Like when the Raptors traded Vince Carter for two guys named Williams and Alonzo Mourning’s kidney (I’ll be right back, I have to go jump out a window). However, there’s a balancing act when it comes to trying to find the best move for your team and, while I would like to see Rick Nash traded sooner rather than later, not only because this story has gone on long enough but also so it will put an end to me screaming at my computer, “OH MY GOD, SOMETHING HAPPEN FOR ME TO WRITE ABOUT”.

However, Scott Howson seems to have not been made aware of this balancing act. Or, if he has, he’s just completely ignoring it. I say this because it appears that Scott Howson has lost his goddamn mind.

What proof do I have of this? None other than a tweet from hockey’s equivalent of the CNN news ticker, Darren Dreger (cause he’s usually wrong and mostly read by octogenarians, heyo! I kid, I kid).



Now, at first I was hesitant to jump on Howson for asking for Skinner in return (well, no, at first I was too busy laughing to actually have coherent thoughts) but the more I think about it, the more I kind of feel bad for Howson now that the Twitterverse is eviscerating him so. While the idea of the Hurricanes including Skinner in a package for Nash is totally insane and would never happen, you can’t really blame the guy for asking. He’s already screwed up this whole situation so badly and handled Nash so poorly that the only way he can save face would be to pull off a blockbuster trade that would pay immediate dividends for his team.

This is the same reason why Rick Nash (you have no idea how many times I’ve typed “Steve Nash” today accidentally) will never be seen in a San Jose Sharks jersey. The Sharks apparently have a deal on the table for Nash, but they had a deal on the table for Nash at the trade deadline too and Howson demanded Logan Couture be part of the deal. Because the Sharks aren’t run by a team of monkeys (this truly is the blurst of times for the Blue Jackets), they said no. Now, again, one could make the not unreasonable assumption that Howson is overreaching in this trade in demanding the budding star from the Sharks but, again, how can you blame him? How do you sell to your fan base “Ryan Clowe jerseys will be on sale soon!” Nothing against Clowe, but after trading your first and only superstar, it’d be a tough pill to swallow. That being said, I once again completely understand where Howson is coming from and why he is asking for players such as Couture.

Oh. Wait. There’s also the news that Howson asked the Flyers for both Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier in a trade for Nash. This…is insane. This, of course, is also definitely not happening.  I’m sorry Scott, I can no longer try to justify and defend you. I’ve tried. But the only conclusion I can come to is that Scott Howson has lost his goddamn mind.

Look, Scott, I get it. You’re already kind of a laughing stock (seriously, do a Twitter search for Scott Howson, there are some gems) and you don’t want to get rid of the best (only?) thing to happen to the Blue Jackets in their short history (remember when Nikolai Zherdev was going to be a thing? Good times). There are all sorts of PR implications here, not the least of which is that Columbus will host the 2013 NHL All-Star Game, presumably with no marketable star nor a marketable team. But there’s not wanting to be fleeced in a deal and then there’s looking logic squarely in the face and telling it to go fuck itself.

The Rick Nash situation escalated from idle speculation to ugliness quite quickly for Howson and it’s a problem that is likely going to get worse before it gets better. I don’t see a deal getting done that truly benefits the Blue Jackets if only because Howson now has absolutely no leverage in a deal. He’s overreaching on his return yet the market has clearly been set as to what he can’t get. Because of the last few months, it has become abundantly clear that Howson can’t go into next season with Nash on his roster and the rest of the NHL knows this as well. A deal just has to get done. Nash is of a certain caliber that basically guarantees that Howson will get some sort of return for him but it won’t be anywhere close what he was hoping.

And all because Scott Howson lost his goddamn mind.

Comments (25)

  1. And yet he remains employed. Gotta look higher up to find the problem in Columbus…

  2. Why do you call Rick Nash a superstar,a good player yes, a superstar no.

    • I guess more goals and points than Parise in the same time period makes that statement apply to him as well, eh?

    • Olympic gold medal winner, 5-time all-star, ESPY nominee. What more do you need? But, seriously, looking strictly at point totals you could make the argument that he’s not a superstar but then you also have to take into consideration who he’s been playing with his entire career. His skill level paired with people who can actually get him the puck should (and I think will) elevate him to superstar status (though I think he’s already there).

    • I think he would be a superstar on a much better team. Yes, I think he is a superstar, except he plays in the smallest market in the league with the least talent.

  3. Rick Nash is a very good player … but is overpaid for a very long time to come. Howson overpaid for him. Now that he has to trade him he wants teams to overpay and then take on that bloated contract. Sorry Scott, making up for coming in to work late by leaving early sounds like a good thing. But in the real world things just don’t work that way.

  4. “this truly is the blurst of times for the Blue Jackets”


  5. Here,here, brother

  6. Great title. Greater article? Sure.

  7. Don’t forget a Maurice Richard trophy winner!

  8. …and with all those years of sucking and drafting low you would think they had more talent to build with….and…oh, they suck at drafting too.

    -and yes, the ‘blust of times’ comment makes you my new favorite writer.

  9. Hey don’t be so hard on Scott Howson, the guy is a Stanley Cup winner.

    Given the fact he traded Jeff Carter for an awful Jack Johnson and his equally awful contract and cap hit, I can only assume he works for the Kings and moonlights as GM of the Blue Jackets.

  10. Cmon people, give the guy a break. How could he trade for anyone less than a Couture or Couturier? If you lose Nash for spare parts, you have a team full of spare parts, one that finished last and looks to do it again. Your fanbase will drop in a hurry and you probably wont make any money.

    Yes, he made his bed and now he has to sleep in it, but in reality, who do you replace him with and what do you do to make it better? Its not like they havent had high draft picks and good prospects?

  11. I don’t think Nash for Schenn and Couturier is all that unreasonable. Both are solid young players with alot of potential and upside. But the thing about potential and upside is that it’s pretty far from a guarantee of what they’ll end up being in their careers. You know what you’re getting with Nash, and potentially much more if you put him on a team with some great players around him. And he’s got a good 5-6 years left where he can be a top player.

    Couturier got way too much hype after that 1st round series with the Pens when he “shut down” Malkin……..who was over a PPG in that series. I wish I could be an NHL player getting shut down if that means being a PPG+ player in the NHL playoffs.

    • it wasnt just malkin. couturier was given a bigger role near the stretch run, involved in a shut down experiemental line where him talbot and vorachek/rinaldo/wellwood were the ones playing tough minutes against clubs top stars like kovalchuk, stamkos, malkin and the likes/etc.. in this role was where he showed his upside as the one of the best defensive forwards on the team, at the young age of 19. thats nine-teen.

      regardless of who he shut down or the definitions.. the guy has a high ceiling and has already began a name for himself. if traded, along with (termed last offseason) “the best player not playing in the nhl” (aka baby schenn) for nash, and that contract. homer would be run out of town. but i guess that was the notion after the carter/richards deals last year and now we are talking about trading what they got for them… lets give it a few years

    • Come on, Malkin was at level only because Bryz sucked….Malkin is good, but admit that Coots owned him in the series. Couterier is only 18 years old – you never mentioned the strong regular sesason he had, and he should have been a Calder trophy finalist. You are out of your mind if you think Coots and Schenn are fair in exchange for Nash. Remember, Nash has an Albatross of a contract. Get a clue and then chime in on the discussion.

      • “Should have been a Calder trophy finalist”

        Do you mean the same Calder trophy that Steve Mason won? By all means, trade for Mason because he is, after all, a Calder WINNING player.

    • Malkin didn’t score a goal until game 3 and was a combined -4 in that stretch. Thats being shut down whether you like it or not. He then had 3 points in the crap show game 4 when the pens won 10-3. Go ahead and bank on the one decent game he had when the flyers appeared to not even be on the ice. Then he had 1 more goal in game 6 when they lost 5-1, so nice job there too Malks. Go ahead and pretend a 19yo didn’t shut him down, but anyone that knows hockey could see that Malkin was getting shutdown. I mean how many bad penalties did he take out of pure frustration? Pretty rare to see the league MVP act like he did. I guess when you have to deal with Crosby as a teammate it probably isnt all that hard to develop cry baby tactics.

  12. 1000 points for obscure Simpsons reference

  13. Of course we are only hearing one side. No one is really leaking what the other teams are offer CBJ. Maybe he is asking for these players as an fu to crappy offers. Also, a few of these teams appear to start out negotiations by saying these players are off limits. NY for example refuses to including kreider, stephan or McDonough. NY refusing to even offer a top prospect. Of course, they are offering scrubs and Dubinksky (a player they were planning on getting rid of anyways). OF course Howson deservers criticism, but these other teams deserves criticism by attempting to lowball him. He does not have to trade Nash to you…..your team is not entitled to him at a lowball price.

    • the rangers have a sufficient number of prospects on the farm where they dont need to ship off kreider, stepan, or mcD (or Tim Erixon for that matter), and still include strong prospects, a pick, and at least one NHL ready player in Dubinsky to columbus. Sometimes it the market that dictates terms.

  14. For anyone NOT getting that priceless slip in of a joke (what a freaking gem);
    As far as I’m concerned Columbus is a struggling team in a struggling market. The only reason I want this trade done is so that we can stop fixating on it and move on to other trades (and maybe move Columbus to Seattle? Tempting…).

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