Steamy, sticky air prevailed around Consol Energy Center yesterday, the kind of swelter that seems out of place amid a draft for hockey players. No place on Earth, however, is as hot and itchy as the collar of Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson.

Howson has never juggled so many franchise-altering decisions, never been the focal point of action in the NHL quite like he is today.

As the first round of the NHL draft looms tonight, Howson is weighing trade offers for the franchise's biggest star, Rick Nash. He is deciding what to do with the highest pick the Jackets have ever carried into a draft, No. 2 overall, and he could be on the verge of making a trade for a starting goaltender.