Throughout the Rick Nash trade saga, the Columbus Blue Jackets and general manager Scott Howson have come out looking less than clean in all the drama. Nash has been considered the good soldier who did all he could for an inept franchise with a leader who has made a slew of questionable decisions.
However, there are two sides to every story and two of SB Nation's staff writers believe Howson's side of the story has not been fairly presented.
On Thursday, NHL editor Travis Hughes succinctly explained the predicament Howson is in by having to trade the most important player in the history of the franchise:
So here's the general manager, suddenly forced to trade away the greatest player to ever pull on his team's uniform. A fan favorite. A local icon, really. And if he ships Nash out of town for anything less than a king's ransom, the calls for his head will only get louder. He'll almost certainly lose his job at the slightest hiccup.
Then on Friday, Dominik Jansky argued that Nash's unwillingness to expand his list of 'preferred' teams is only hamstringing the franchise further and contradicts his initial explanation for asking to be traded, which was to help the team rebuild:
Nash's team made him a star and captain and committed nearly $100 million and a no-trade clause to him, but because they haven't been good, he wants a trade. To help the franchise, he assures you. But only to a few teams that are really good. With really good centers. That all know Howson is stuck, so they won't offer him equal return.
While Howson has certainly made some terrible decisions during his time as GM, it is fair to say that he may be shouldering too much blame in the fiasco that has become the Rick Nash saga. It's important to remember that he isn't the only one pulling the strings in this situation and Nash is the one who has the last word on any deal.