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February 29, 2012 | 10:50am ET
Nash to remain captain following trade confession

While this year's trade deadline did not involve any surprising deals, the shocking announcement of Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash's desire to be moved has spiralled into a series of twists and turns that will carry on until the rest of the season.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Nash has been uncertain of the reaction from fans, who have idolized him for the past nine seasons, though the forward was welcomed by a cheering crowd at the Nationwide Arena during Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Questions arose on Nash's leadership role, though the 27-year-old mentioned he wanted to remain as captain at least for the final 19 games of the regular season.

"I would love to keep it," Nash told the Dispatch. "I believe I'm the leader of this group right now, and these guys. I think, no matter what, nothing has changed in my mind. I will still lead by example and go out there and do everything I can to win games for this city and for these fans."

Meanwhile, interim coach Todd Richards thought the questions were out of line and said that he had no doubts about Nash's commitment to the Jackets and Columbus.

"When I think of Columbus -- and this was previous to me getting here -- it was Rick Nash," said Richards, who joined the franchise over the summer. "I know, having spent this season with him -- and listening to other people talk, listening to my neighbors talk, listening to my kids talk -- I know what Rick has done for this community and this organization. He's done it for 10 years. He's been really committed and very loyal. And now everyone's questioning it. That's one thing I have a tough time understanding."

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson first mentioned Nash's trade request on Monday, shortly after he failed to deal the top forward, while many believed the league's last-place club had first floated the possibility of moving its best player.

Howson added that he would continue to try to trade Nash after the season as it might be easier to get a deal done then.

Nash met with his teammates earlier on Tuesday to explain why he asked to be traded and to resolve any hard feelings, though players in the Jackets locker room made it clear they're still lining up behind Nash.

"We know what kind of guy he is," teammate Derek Dorsett said. "It doesn't matter what all you guys think. You guys can speculate all you want. We're beside Rick. We think he's a great captain."

In 63 games this season, Nash has collected 22 goals and 22 assists for 44 points.

More Trade Deadline Info 
List of Trades |
No-Trade/No-Movement Clauses | Top 25 Available Players | Team-by-Team Cap Info

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