at the draft party a couple of years ago, and under a considerable haze, i heard Birdman yell out the following (about 4 or 5 times, i think) - "don't marry yourselves to players!" he went on to reiterate that idea more than once on the boards, and i believe it to be absolutely sage.
I like what Columbus is doing with their defense. Aucoin, Wiz, Johnson, Nikitin, Murray, Erixon. They have great skaters and mobility on defense and a couple of them play with a bit of a nasty streak. Aucoin is there as the veteran mentor this year to help the kids learn as a solid d-man with a hard shot and PP guy and will get replaced as the forward positions get filled in over the next couple years.
They have 3 first round picks next year in what is supposed to be a stronger draft year and they have some quality 2nd & 3rd line players. They should be primed to add offense via free agency/trade/draft in the next couple years.
Then, last season, Nash said the following "I was informed by management that there was a rebuild, a reshape, in the team and I personally felt I could be a huge part of that towards bringing assets in," he said. "In my view, that was the best thing for the team, the organization, and personally for my career."
Rick Nash wonders if Columbus Blue Jackets fans will turn against him after trade request - ESPN
The guy is tired of losing, period.
It was Howson's ineffectiveness as a GM that caused Rick Nash to ask for a trade. So, while you can't judge Howson as a GM, his record speaks for itself:
Regular Season -
So if Clb can get those things in order, then they can make something of those #1 picks. Otherwise, they will be rebuilding in 5 years again.