The NHL trade deadline came and went in late February, and so did the NHL draft in late June. The start of NHL free agency is now getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror, but Rick Nash -- who requested a trade in January -- is still a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
How much longer can this go on?
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson remains resolute, insisting he won't trade the franchise's Mr. Everything for less than "market value," even as the six clubs on Nash's "approved" list get their rosters set for the 2012-13 season.
The Columbus Dispatch, citing league sources, reported that the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks are the only clubs to which Nash has indicated he would approve a trade. He has a no-trade clause in his contract.
Howson has had trade talks with clubs not on the list -- the Carolina Hurricanes, Ottawa Senators and possibly others -- but there are no indications Nash is ready to expand his list to facilitate a trade.
From the start of the process, Howson has said he won't trade for less than market value, even if it means he remains on the roster into training camp and 2012-13 season.
The Blue Jackets will ask for at least one proven NHL forward in return for Nash. They struggled to score goals last season with Nash in the lineup, finishing 29th in the league in scoring. Take the perennial 30-goal scorer out of the lineup, and it's a nightmare.