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Rick Nash Derby: Scott Howson would like some NHL forwards, thanks

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The trade chatter between Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and suitors for Rick Nash has been "exceptionally quiet" according to the Columbus Dispatch.

There's no deadline for trading the captain, because the Jackets are at the mercy of the timetables for a select group of teams for whom Nash is willing to play; and at the mercy of a market that's still waiting to see where Alex Semin and Bobby Ryan end up for next season.

[Related: What's really at stake for NHLPA in collective bargaining with NHL]

When — if? — Nash is traded, Howson reiterated that it'll be for his asking price and to address positions of need for Columbus. From an interview with Gino Reda of TSN on Friday:

"I have a value that I've placed on Rick and that our whole organization has placed on Rick. He's an elite player. He's been a tremendous ambassador for our franchise and our city. We're very comfortable with the value we've placed on him; and until we get that value, we're going to keep working away at it."

"If we do complete a trade, we're trading out a 30 to 40 goal scorer. Defense is probably the strongest part of our team if we look at it today. So we're looking to get some NHL forwards back first and foremost."

"Some NHL forwards" i.e. players that can move into the Jackets' lineup immediately and not percolate in the AHL.

But not necessarily a goaltender. Howson admitted that the Jackets were in on Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Bernier during the NHL Draft, but addressed their goaltending needs by trading for Sergei Bobrovsky from the Philadelphia Flyers. The Dispatch first reported the Bernier inquiry on Friday.

As for when Nash might be traded, Howson said that the Anaheim Ducks' dangling of Bobby Ryan on the trade market could affect things based on "who he was traded to and went he went for."

Does that mean the return for Ryan could influence the price for Nash, either through inflation or deflation?

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