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Rick Nash Trade: Scott Howson puts smiley face on Blue Jackets’ darkest day

The majority of reactions to the Columbus Blue Jackets' trade of Rick Nash to the New York Rangers claim that an all-star, franchise player was just dealt for expendable parts; and that nothing coming back to Columbus justifies their dealing Nash to Glen Sather.

So it fell to GM Scott Howson to dress this thing up as something more than desperation or exasperation.

"This deal doesn't get done until we get the right value. And today is the day that we got the right value," said Howson.

The trade had Nash, a third-round pick and minor league defenseman Stephen Delisle going to the Rangers for forwards Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round pick.

Howson had made plenty of noise about needing multiple NHL-quality forwards back in the deal, which he received. A "really strong defense," according to Howson, gets strong with Erixon, too.

Yet there's a feeling that Howson and the Jackets were settling here rather than having the Rangers meet their price.

"We talked a number of different times. A lot at the trade deadline. A little bit at the draft. We talked in post-free agency, and in the last week it really picked up," said Howson.

"We weren't going to get a deal done until we got proper value. And that happened to occur today."

Yet Darren Dreger of TSN, who broke the trade, reports that "the components of this deal were available at the deadline and again at the Draft."

Was that true?

"I'd have to check my notes," said Howson.

Here's Howson:

So the Jackets begin life after Nash with two proven NHL scorers in Anisimov and Dubinsky, whom Howson said found out about the trade through the media.

Said Dubinsky to Puck-Rakers: "It's one of those things where I knew if it was going to happen, I'd be a part of it."

Dubinsky was always rumored in the trade. Anisimov wasn't (and he still may not know about it, since he's on his honeymoon in Fiji).

So did Howson come back to Sather or did Sather meet Howson's price?

"I think we both took a step in the right direction," said Howson.

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