When Rick Nash approached us several months ago and asked us to consider trading him, we agreed to try to accommodate his request - but only if we could make a deal that improved our long-term chances of competing for a Stanley Cup. We believe today's acquisition of forwards Brandon Dubinsky
, Artem Anisimov
and defenseman Tim Erixon
, along with a first round pick in 2013, from the New York Rangers does just that. As difficult as it is to part with Rick, this move accelerates the process we began several months ago to reshape our roster.
Rick will always be remembered as the Blue Jackets
' first real star. He gave his best, made a big impact on our community and we wish him the best in the next chapter of his career. But the fact is trading Rick helps us bring in our next generation of stars and positions our team for long-term success. We are focused on the future.
We are also very excited about the other moves we've made over the past several months. A solid defense and good goaltending give teams the opportunity to win consistently in the NHL and we believe the additions to our blue line of Jack Johnson, Adrian Aucoin and 2012 first round pick Ryan Murray, along with newly acquired goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, will result in our club being much-improved defensively. We also have assembled the most experienced coaching staff we've ever had.
We are committed to building a team that plays an exciting brand of hockey, competes every night and ultimately achieves the goal of winning a Stanley Cup. Anything less is unacceptable, and we will do whatever it takes to build a winner. Columbus is a great hockey market. Our fans know the game and the level of passion, enthusiasm and loyalty you have exhibited over the past 12 years is nothing short of remarkable. Today we have a clear vision of the future and are working every day to give you the type of team you deserve.
We are grateful for the outstanding support of our fans, particularly our season ticket holders, and I assure you that we will continue to explore all avenues and review every opportunity to improve. We certainly realize that there is more to do to reach our goals, but we are excited about what lies ahead for our organization.
Executive Vice President and General Manager