There are many questions swirling around the team as the February trade deadline approaches. Nine more days until we learn:
- What will the team do with Rick Nash? The only bone fide star in the team's history has been the center of many trade rumors. Trading away such a valuable asset may not be wise during a deadline crunch. The team may get better value near the draft. That's of course if they want to trade Nash. If they do, the return must be tremendous to avoid alienating the fan base.
- Is Scott Howson really the guy as GM? If he's not, why is he being allowed to make such important decisions? The answer seems to be that Howson will survive into next season. It would be inconceivable that he would be permitted to trade the team's only star and later be fired. The remaining question is does he deserve more time? Ownership seems to be willing to give him more time. Let's hope they're right because I'd move on.
- Has the Jeff Carter era ended before it really ever started? It's dangerous to rely on rumor mill material, but it has been strongly suggested that Carter is being dangled as deadline trade bait. While he hasn't made an impact this season, trading your top two scorers (Nash and Carter) on a team that doesn't score seems like suicide.
- Steve Mason has a relatively big contract. He has the rest of the season to prove he deserves the job. With Sanford out, he'll get as much ice time as he can handle. Will they give Mason a shot? Or will they seek goaltending in a potential Nash trade?