This week, the Blue Jackets started shopping Rick Nash, who has done more for the franchise than anyone outside of the late owner, John H. McConnell.

Nash did not request a trade. Management came to him, and there is the rub.

Granted, Nash suspected they might ask, and he knew the question was loaded. It is like asking for a separation from a partner who has been nothing but staunchly loyal and supremely dedicated.

Honey, you're terrific, and I love you and all, and you've given me the best years of your life and I appreciate it — but I am thinking about seeing some other people. What do you think?

It would have been one thing if Nash had requested a trade. He is a player of stature, he is in his prime and no one would fault him for wanting out, so he could go win somewhere while the Jackets rebuild.