Hockey Bits: More Nash/Weber, Islanders Goalies, Ted Nolan the Latvian

Smile.

The big news from yesterday: The Predators have matched the gargantuan offer sheet to Shea Weber and -- heh, get this -- he wants a no-trade clause too! Rumors are unconfirmed that he also wishes to be paid in $2 bills. More from the hockey world, plus just a little more on the Nash trade (how bummed are we?):

Finally, one more go at the RIck Nash trade, and then I promise I'll stop bringing it up:

Decent deal: Backhand Shelf | Fear the Fin | Yours truly at SB Nation

What an abomination: Sporting News | SBN's Bruce Ciskie

It appears opinions on the Nash trade break down along lines of people who thing Scott Howson did alright for himself given the circumstances -- fetching two good NHLers plus futures in return -- versus those who think he should have somehow landed a star or fellow 30-goal scorer for the, well, 30-goal scorer, or just something better entirely after five months (seven months?!) of trying. Please do correct me in comments, but I'm not sure what better deals were out there or even could be out there from teams capable of taking on that contract.

Personally, two above average NHLers, a top prospect and a first-rounder sound like a good target overall, even if a tall defenseman and 3rd-round pick were included along with Nash. For me it's summed up well at Fear the Fin:

Howson did well for himself here, even if the return does highlight how ludicrous his demands of Couture from the Sharks and Sean Couturier from the Flyers really were. Dubinsky and Anisimov are both plus-possession players who have outshot and outscored tough competition in the past and should provide the Blue Jackets with more value in that capacity than Nash. Neither of them has exhibited the goal-scoring ability of Columbus' former captain but it's worth nothing that Dubinsky and Anisimov scored 1.72 and 1.45 5v5 points per 60 minutes, respectively, last season in what were down years offensively for both of them while Nash scored 1.89.

[...] Meanwhile, the Rangers are one of the few teams for whom acquiring Nash isn't the worst idea.

If that's not a fair view of the trade, then I'm not sure what Howson -- who generally deserves scorn (mine included) for how he's run that franchise -- was supposed to get from a better trade.

Meanwhile, closing the book on this sad chapter in a tough franchise history, the Blue Jackets must now forge on with a new identity. Even though we're talking a storied franchise with a dynasty in its history versus an expansion team that has never been watered properly to let it get off the ground, I'd say Isles fans and Blue Jackets fans can both identify with the need to start over and rebuild the identity, forge a new destiny, and so on.

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