As reports swirled that multiple teams were interested in making a mega-move to acquire Rick Nash from the Blue Jackets, it was a virtual certainty that Columbus was going to be busy right until the very end of the 2012 NHL trade deadline.
As 3:00 p.m. EST came and went yesterday, so too did the opportunity to move Nash in an effort to acquire multiple pieces that fit into the franchise's future. After unloading center Jeff Carter to the Kings just days before, it seemed that the Blue Jackets were in full sell-mode, but that proved not to be the case.
And while Nash may eventually be traded during the offseason, Columbus will now finish this regular season with a roster that includes puck-moving defenseman Jack Johnson (acquired in the Carter trade), and can look forward to the draft, which may include the top overall selection and a conditional first round pick (also included in the Carter swap).
The Carter deal was preceded by a move to acquire goalie Curtis McElhinney and two draft picks from Phoenix in exchange for forward Antoine Vermette. The Blue Jackets later shipped forward Sami Pahlsson to Vancouver for another pair of draft picks.
In all, Columbus came away with five additional draft picks in their deadline deals, which should set the team up with an opportunity to rebuild the roster through the amateur draft. Blue Jackets fans are hopeful that general manager Scott Howson can make good on those picks and guide the franchise back to the playoffs for just the second time since its inception.