Since Rick Nash pulled the Blue Jackets sweater over his head as the No. 1 overall draft pick on June 22, 2002, he has been the face of a woebegone franchise, the club's go-to guy on the ice and a bedrock of stability in the dressing room. The thought of him donning another NHL team's sweater is, for many, hard to fathom.

But with the club desperate to change course after 11 seasons of near-chronic losing, the Blue Jackets, according to NHL sources, are listening to trade offers for Nash, less than two weeks from the Feb.?27 trade deadline.

"We're open to all options to try to improve the team," general manager Scott Howson said. He has made similar statements before, but never with the intention of including Nash.

The Blue Jackets contacted Nash and his agent, Toronto-based Joe Resnick, over the weekend, asking if Nash would be willing to waive his no-movement clause to facilitate a trade.