Share Share Quick Takes: Columbus Blue Jackets at Florida Panthers tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports The Blue Jackets, looking to win their third game of four and second road game to open the season sought to spoil the celebrations at the BB&T Center. Heres what unfolded.
The Blue Jackets jumped out to a 2-0 lead behind goals from Zach Werenski and Artemi Panarin. Werenskis first point of the season came on a 5 on 3 for the club.
The Panthers cut the deficit to one with a goal with 19:49 gone in the first period as Evgenii Dadanov registered his first goal of the season.
Columbus won a period and a hockey game. Goals from Boone Jenner and Cam Atkinson saw the Jackets through.
Video: Panarin, Atkinson lift Jackets past Panthers
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 6: New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) looks to pass as Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) closes in during the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers NHL game on November 6, 2017, at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
There is a whirlwind of information flying around about Columbus Blue Jackets great Rick Nash. Is he retiring? Is he returning? Where is he going? When is he making a decision?
What we do know is that Nash is dealing with concussion issues still but is working toward playing hockey again. He has met with Jarmo Kekalainen and John Davidson and the meeting went as well as it could according to a report from Aaron Portzline of The Athletic. And we know he still lives in, and loves Columbus, Ohio.
We also know that the Jackets have a huge black cloud hanging over the team with the Artemi Panarin situation. The stud winger is off to a hot start this year with three points in as many games but no contract past this year. The most likely path forward with Panarin remains to trade him before the deadline.
That would leave a massive hole in the organization that no one could fill. But signing Rick Nash to a deal to get the Jackets through the 2018-2019 year would help.
The winger is 35-years-old but can still score. In 71 games last year he scored 21 goals including 18 on a bad New York Rangers squad. He plays a much different style of game than Panarin, but at the end of the day, he puts the puck in the net.
Nash won’t be a dynamic playmaker, but would still help ease the loss of the team’s second leading goal scorer. Nash would also help the Jackets power play which has been an issue for a year and a half running.
If the team were to deal Panarin, Nash wouldn’t replace Panarin on the top line. He doesn’t play with the speed necessary to keep up with Pierre-Luc Dubois or Cam Atkinson. But the Jackets could bump up Oliver Bjorkstrand or Anthony Duclair to play on the top line and put Nash on the second or third line.
The Jackets would likely get at second line winger back in a trade, along with a prospect, but giving Torts another option on the wing would again make scoring a bit easier.
This team, even without Panarin can make the playoffs and take another stab at winning the first playoff series in franchise history. This is still a team with the best defensive pair in hockey, a Vezina winning goalie (also, for now) and depth the organization has never witnessed. This Columbus Blue Jackets team can win a round, even without Panarin, and that is worth a short term risk on Nash.
Again, no one can replace Panarin. But Nash would help stop the offensive bleeding that will come when the Jackets rip off the bandaid and deal Panarin. When the Jackets trade Panarin, signing Nash to a deal for the rest of the year would be worth the risk to take a run at a playoff series win.
Video: NHL Highlights | Blue Jackets vs. Panthers – Oct. 11, 2018
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