5 most likely Jackets on the trading block

Updated: January 23, 2012, 11:35 AM ET
By Craig Custance

There's one player whose inclusion in a trade would be so significant that the rebuild in Columbus could be fast-tracked. But that player isn't going anywhere.

GM Scott Howson has consistently said that captain Rick Nash, who would immediately become the most sought-after player at the deadline if things changed, isn't on the trade market. This weekend, the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline reported that following ownership meetings, the conclusion was that president Mike Priest and Howson's jobs are safe after this season. While changes will be made heading into next season, they won't be the kind of seismic shift that means trading your franchise forward. Instead, it'll be more along the lines of a goalie addition and potential coaching change.

That said, Howson will be active before the Feb. 27 deadline. He has to be. We exchanged emails Sunday night, and he said he still doesn't have a sense as to when the activity will happen -- now or closer to the deadline -- but it's coming.