He didn't get Nash dealt, then threw him under the bus during his press conference. After poking around a bit, not only are the fans after the entire management structure's heads over there, I remember this tidbit:
Columbus Blue Jackets hire Craig Patrick as senior advisor - ESPN
My thought process is that Howson is a lame duck, and his days are numbered.
Patrick's job is likely to come in and assess what's there, and what needs to go. Howson, and Priest their president for that matter, are likely to go at some point, Patrick takes the interim job, then brings in another GM after a careful search process. The can operate as the GM through the draft/free agency period.
Its still run like the good old boys network from years past, which really doesn't work in the NHL anymore.
After all those years of drafting early, they should not be one of a handful of teams that are out of the playoff hunt this early.