Nash tight-lipped about potential trade

February, 19, 2012
2/19/12
6:35
PM ET
NEW YORK, NY -- Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash was tight-lipped about a potential trade that could bring him to Broadway.

The prized 27-year-old winger was reportedly placed on the trading block earlier this week by the last-place Blue Jackets, who are in town to play the Rangers at Madison Square Garden Sunday, but Nash provided little insight on where he will wind up when the NHL's trade deadline passes next Monday at 3 p.m.

"I just worry about today. Right now, I'm a Blue Jacket and that's what matters," Nash said. "I've played my whole career here and I'm dealing with a game I have to play in two hours, so that's all I'm worrying about."

Surrounded by a large media contingent, Nash carefully sidestepped whether he'd like to remain a Blue Jacket or be dealt by the deadline.

"It's going to take care of itself. I'm a Blue Jacket right now," said
Nash, whose Columbus squad is 4-6-0 over the last ten games. "It's fun. We're playing great hockey, it's been fun to be around. It's been a tough year for us, but right now, when you're winning games...it becomes a different game."

When asked whether the Rangers, perceived by many to be among the front-runners to land the franchise player, were on his "approved" list of teams to which he'd waive his no-movement clause and accept a trade, Nash replied:

"No comment."

Nash offered the same refrain when asked if he could see himself playing for the Rangers, who are among a handful of teams in hot pursuit of the former first overall pick. Multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun that the Rangers, Kings, Leafs and Flyers have all held talks this week with Columbus regarding Nash.

Does Nash think about what it might be like to play at Madison Square Garden now that he's here with the trade deadline a little over a week away?

"No, You're in different buildings every night pretty much, so it's just another game," Nash said.

He did not seem fazed by the crush of reporters that swarmed him hours before the game, however.

"I'm fine," he said. "I played in the Olympics a couple of times for Canada, so this is really nothing compared to that."

Fielding inquiries about his future, Nash did not reveal much but he did concede that the recent hype has been a "distraction" for the downtrodden Blue Jackets.

"It's been distracting for our team," said Nash, who has 18 goals and
21 assists in 58 games for Columbus this season. "We've been playing great hockey, that's the important thing. We've been getting some wins and it's been fun."

The distractions are bound to multiply over the next eight days as teams jockey to land the star player, who is on the second year of an eight-year, $62.4 million deal.

Columbus general manager Scott Howson met with Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke in Manhattan Sunday morning, Burke confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com, and Howson is expected to meet with Rangers GM Glen Sather at some point during his trip to New York as well.
Katie Strang covers the Rangers, Islanders and Devils for ESPNNewYork.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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