It’s been eleven years since the New York Rangers made the big trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets that saw the Rangers bring Rick Nash in from Ohio. Eleven years since the Rangers brought in the first overall pick from 2002. Doesn’t it seem like it was so much more recent than that? A lot of people remember exactly where they were when the news broke that Glen Sather had acquired Nash.
I talked about this trade and how it worked out for both teams a couple of days ago, so I’m going to mainly focus on the growth of this tree that came from this massive trade in 2012. If you haven’t read the deep dive into this trade and how it affected both organizations, I’ll briefly touch on it here but the idea is that this will be how this deal has grown and impacted the two organizations since.
So let’s start from the beginning. Columbus was awarded an NHL organization in 2000 and with their maiden voyage into the hockey world being particularly underwhelming, they were a frequent visitor to the doldrums of the league. As a basement dweller, Columbus was rewarded with higher overall draft picks in the hope that more talent would allow the Jackets to get better over time. So in 2002, with the first pick in the draft, they grabbed Rick Nash.
Nash would become one of the faces of the Jackets franchise as soon as he arrived in the Buckeye state. Nash won the Rocket Richard trophy as the league’s top goal scorer as a sophomore and continued to get better. But as Nash improved, Columbus saw the wheels keep spinning in terms of franchise success. Nash seemed to grow increasingly frustrated with one-and-done playoff appearances during his time in Columbus.
So, in the summer of 2012, after 9 years in Columbus, the Jackets agree to move on from their star forward.