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Nash is a bigger celeb in Canada than Columbus

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The Other Paper wrote Rick Nash is a bigger celebrity in Canada than Columbus—and that’s fine

by Jeff McCallister / October 25, 2007

Already a five-year veteran at 23 years old, Nash has become the face of the Blue Jackets.

A former No. 1 overall draft pick, the left wing was the youngest player ever to lead the league in goal-scoring and the youngest NHL all-star in a generation.

He scored the Jackets’ only goal Sunday, then added two more Tuesday in their 7-4 win at Chicago to move into a tie for third place in the league, despite the fact he’d played two fewer games than most of the other league leaders.

And in Columbus, all of these things earn him celebrity status somewhere behind a constantly changing cast of college students.

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37 Responses to Nash is a bigger celeb in Canada than Columbus

  1. ChrisD28 October 26, 2007 12:45 am at 12:45 am

    Speaking of Rick Nash, the Blue Jackets (5-3-1) are off to their best start ever and now have the 9th most points in the entire league. Nash is tied for 2nd in goals scored, with 8. The Jackets have the number 1 penalty kill in the league. And Pascal LeClaire, after tonight, should be leading the league in every major goaltending category, including 4 shutouts in 6 starts (the Blue Jackets franchise record is 5 in one season)!

    The only thing to possibly be disappointed about so far this season is the turnout. Our attendance always looks good on paper. But, there are clearly a lot of tickets that are purchased but not used. I go to just about every game and there have been SO many open seats. It’s too bad considering the great start that we’ve had. Especially if you take into account that we were projected pre-season to be amongst the bottom 3 teams in the entire league.

    If you’ve not been yet this year, I highly encourage you to give it a shot. I believe that there are a couple hundred $10 tickets available at the box office starting at 5:00 on gamedays (games usually start just after 7:00). Also, for people who can’t make it that early, I’ve heard that they have been giving away extra tickets for free about half way through the 1st period. And you can always get one cheap from a scalper.

    Anyway, just thought that I’d give my team a plug. If they keep playing like this those seats will fill up eventually. But take advantage of the great deals while they are still available. Who knows, you might even have fun.

  2. shroud
    shroud October 26, 2007 8:31 am at 8:31 am

    What? People in Canada care more about Hockey than people in Columbus, Ohio?

    SHOCK AND AWE.

    :shock:

  3. Ndcent
    Ndcent October 26, 2007 8:38 am at 8:38 am

    shroud wrote What? People in Canada care more about Hockey than people in Columbus, Ohio?

    SHOCK AND AWE.

    :shock:

    :!: :lol:

  4. dru
    dru October 26, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am

    if we wants to bump up his celebrity appeal here in Columbus, here are a few ideas him and his agents should consider:

    1. make an appearance at a CU meetup. The team is unfortunately scheduled to be in Anaheim on 11.1, but with advance planning the holiday meetup could work with his schedule

    2. start creating some indie art. perhaps paint covered pucks slap shot into some canvas. but he can think outside the box if wants to

    3. oh, and keep this hot start going and make the playoffs for once.

  5. VictorianGate October 26, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am

    I can’t wait to go to the game tomorrow late afternoon!! BTW.. where are all these “purchased but unused” tickets going?? WTF?

  6. alison
    alison October 26, 2007 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm

    If ever I met a person who deserved to be a celebrity, it’s Rick Nash. Ever since he arrived in Columbus, he has been modest, unassuming, quick to give credit and admiration to others. He works hard and has maintained a sense of humour and a postive outlook despite some rather grim times for the team. Even in a sport that prizes down-to-earth, guy-next-door heroes, Nash stands out as just so relentlessly normal!

    PLus, he’s grown into an absolute beast on the ice. He’s a big guy, with an enormous reach, and when he gets going, he just bulls his way thru defenders. While he scores alot, periodically he has some heart-stoppingly pretty goals, like he did last night.

    If you haven’t gone to a game yet this season, you gotta go!

  7. HeySquare
    HeySquare October 26, 2007 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm

    If anyone DIDN’T see Nash’s between the legs, past the glove, corner of the net goal last night… well, you missed a thing of beauty.

    I really can’t believe he made that goal. He wristed it from BETWEEN HIS FREAKING LEGS. Like he was riding the stick. with the puck slightly behind him. On skates. I can hardly walk and talk at the same time.

    I have to say… this Columbus team should give us a good showing this year. I hesitate to say more, but expectations are high in my house, and I actually chose late season tickets this year because they may be important games coming into the playoffs.

    And I love the fact that the sports news outlets haven’t figured it out yet. The new management is quietly honing the fantastic talent on this team. I’ve noticed SO much improvement on passing and positioning. And I know SQUAT about hockey… but even *I* can see the difference.

    Columbus is now second in the division, under Detroit. And competitively placed there.

    Regardless of anything, they’re playing great, and giving a good show. That’s all that matters

  8. DeVoe
    DeVoe October 26, 2007 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm

    dru wrote if we wants to bump up his celebrity appeal here in Columbus, here are a few ideas him and his agents should consider:

    1. make an appearance at a CU meetup. The team is unfortunately scheduled to be in Anaheim on 11.1, but with advance planning the holiday meetup could work with his schedule

    2. start creating some indie art. perhaps paint covered pucks slap shot into some canvas. but he can think outside the box if wants to

    3. oh, and keep this hot start going and make the playoffs for once.

    set it up

  9. ChrisD28 October 26, 2007 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm

    HeySquare wrote If anyone DIDN’T see Nash’s between the legs, past the glove, corner of the net goal last night… well, you missed a thing of beauty.

    I really can’t believe he made that goal. He wristed it from BETWEEN HIS FREAKING LEGS. Like he was riding the stick. with the puck slightly behind him. On skates. I can hardly walk and talk at the same time.

    The funny thing is that he said that it was “really the only play (he) had there.” As if that was what anybody would have done in the same situation. I love how humble he is.

  10. ChrisD28 October 26, 2007 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm

    VictorianGate wrote I can’t wait to go to the game tomorrow late afternoon!! BTW.. where are all these “purchased but unused” tickets going?? WTF?

    I think they are going nowhere, sitting in a drawer or on a counter. I think that a ton of the tickets at Nationwide are either corporate seats or season tickets. And since the Blue Jackets haven’t been much good in the past they just get passed on a lot. That’s why a lot of the best seats are empty on any given night.

    I share season tickets with someone. But I still end up getting to go to a lot of the games that I don’t have tickets for because all of my friends know that I’m fanatical and so they’ll snatch up company tickets if possible if they realize they aren’t being used.

  11. alison
    alison October 26, 2007 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm

    Attendance has been worse than at any point in the franchises history.

    The irony is that they are now playing better hockey than at any point in the franchises history!

    Because of my work schedule, I’ve haven’t gotten to many games the last two seasons, but I always had fun meeting friends for drinks before hand, then leisurely finishing my beer and strolling over at face-off time to pick up a cheap ticket from scalpers.

  12. TimFitz October 26, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm

    I’ve either been to, watched, or listened to every single game this season, and I love reading the Dispatch’s new blog, Puck Rakers. If you follow the Jackets and haven’t checked it out, you can go here:

    http://blog.dispatch.com/cbj/

    Seeing Rick Nash out and about a little more in town would be great. Anyone know where he lives?

  13. ChrisD28 October 27, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am

    TimFitz wrote Seeing Rick Nash out and about a little more in town would be great. Anyone know where he lives?

    Judging by this video, I’m guessing that he lays pretty low, hangs out at home:

    I’ve never seen him out before. However, I waited tables for a couple years at Rusty Bucket Arlington and Jody Shelley used to come in 3 or 4 nights a week. He seemed like a really good guy (though, a really good guy who could beat the living shit out of you if he wanted). I’ve seen him at the bar at Lindey’s a few times too. Adam Foote, Manny Malhotra, and Jason Chimera have all been into my shop before. So, they are out and about a bit at least. I also have it on good word that Nikolai Zherdev can often be spotted at a certain “gentleman’s club” in town. :wink:

  14. Outerloop October 27, 2007 9:56 am at 9:56 am

    I’ve made it to one game so far. Nash is the man! The Blue Jackets are definitely playing with more intensity. As they keep winning, the fan base will come back. Unfortunately, Columbus gets behind front runners. Doug McLean’s departure has helped the team get over the loser’s mentality.

  15. BetsyB October 27, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am

    I have to say Klesla is my #1 favorite. I could recognize him anywhere…Rick Nash, not so sure…

  16. milodesc October 27, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am

    HeySquare wrote If anyone DIDN’T see Nash’s between the legs, past the glove, corner of the net goal last night… well, you missed a thing of beauty.

    I really can’t believe he made that goal. He wristed it from BETWEEN HIS FREAKING LEGS. Like he was riding the stick. with the puck slightly behind him. On skates. I can hardly walk and talk at the same time.

    if anyone is interested in seeing the goal:

  17. milodesc October 27, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am

    while i’m at it, here is the commercial they talk about in the article (sorry, youtube wouldn’t let me embed this one):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Dq9prqI-Ac

  18. ChrisD28 November 5, 2007 12:57 am at 12:57 am

    Another big win tonight with the 3-0 shutout of St. Louis! This, for Pascal LeClaire’s league-leading 5th shutout of the season in 9 starts (it tied the Columbus record for shutouts in a complete season). We are 8-3-2, tied for 4th in the entire NHL and have scored points (aka won or tied) in our last 6 games.

    And, yet, Nationwide was still half full. I’m starting to wonder what this team has to do to pack the place?? Our next 3 games are on the road (Chicago, Detroit, and Nashville) but we have a home game a week from Monday. Hopefully, this team’s fantastic play thus far will be rewarded with a great crowd for that one . . . I don’t think that the Buckeyes play on Monday nights. :wink:

  19. ChrisD28 November 5, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am

    By the way, the always reliable NBC4 news reported on their nightly news tonight that the Blue Jackets played “in front of a packed house” tonight. I was there, not even close to true. :cry:

  20. Coremodels
    Coremodels November 5, 2007 8:10 am at 8:10 am

    ChrisD28 wrote And, yet, Nationwide was still half full. I’m starting to wonder what this team has to do to pack the place??

    4 words for you…

    Dime A Dog Night

    :lol:

  21. alison
    alison November 5, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm

    ChrisD28 wrote …And, yet, Nationwide was still half full. I’m starting to wonder what this team has to do to pack the place??

    This town is notoriously slow on the uptake. The CW — which is usually promulgated by people who know little about the subject at hand — is still that the Jackets suck. People will start to hear the good stuff by the All-Star break, I’m sure. :roll:

    Then again, this team has been unpredictable. At the begining of the last season there were more than a few national analysts who were predicting that the Jackets were playoff contenders. They went on to have one of the most excruciatingly bad seasons in hockey. Many of those same analysts started this season by predicting the Jackets would be lucky to win just about any game.

    Bottom line is: the hockey is good, the tickets are cheap, the Arena is roomy — get in before the herd arrives….

  22. The Hegemo
    The Hegemo November 5, 2007 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm

    Agreed with all that Alison said. I think if the team is still looking like a legit playoff contender when the OSU football season ends, we’ll start seeing substantially bigger crowds. Hard to break into people’s consciousness right now with OSU undefeated.

    Crowds have been increasing since the start of the season. The second game of the year was under 12,000; now they’re getting up over 13k. Not good attendance by any stretch of the imagination, but getting better.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the walk-up trade is going to the secondary market. People have come to realize that they can get cheap tickets from scalpers or season ticket holders, so they don’t buy from the box office. Given that the NHL counts tickets sold and not tickets scanned, that has a depressing effect on published attendance. Of the four games I’ve gone to this season, for example, I only got box office tickets once; I bought tickets from STH friends of mine the other three times. So in only one of those four games did my attendance “count” towards the official total, since the ST is already accounted for in the total. I realize this argument is irrelevant to how many people are actually in the stands, but it does affect the published attendance…and the team’s bottom line, since they’re not getting additional $ on top of what they already got from the STH.

    I assume that once attendance picks back up, some of that slack will come out of the ticket market, as more STHs may decide to use their tickets regularly, and scalpers will charge more, making that option less attractive.

    That said, they could probably be more aggressive in terms of trying to get people back. The St. Louis Blues went through an ownership crisis and gutting of their lineup that led to some really low ticket sales coming out of the lockout. The team’s started to turn things around on the ice, but off the ice, they’ve done stuff like free food days, buy one ticket, get one free, cut ticket prices, etc. And they’re back to selling out. Columbus hasn’t really tried that aggressive approach (and in fact, they raised ticket prices this year) apart from the Huntington Green Seats and some periodic sales.

  23. ChrisD28 November 5, 2007 1:21 pm at 1:21 pm

    The Hegemo wrote I think if the team is still looking like a legit playoff contender when the OSU football season ends, we’ll start seeing substantially bigger crowds. Hard to break into people’s consciousness right now with OSU undefeated.

    I love OSU football as much as the next guy. But it’s pretty sad (but true) that people here’s brains are unable to process more than OSU football while the season is still going.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go read all 15 articles about the Bucks in today’s Columbus Dispatch. :wink:

  24. ChrisD28 November 5, 2007 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm

    And then I go look at the paper and there are no articles about OSU today. Haha, just my luck on that timing . . . :lol:

  25. HeySquare
    HeySquare November 5, 2007 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm

    ChrisD28 wrote Another big win tonight with the 3-0 shutout of St. Louis! This, for Pascal LeClaire’s league-leading 5th shutout of the season in 9 starts (it tied the Columbus record for shutouts in a complete season). We are 8-3-2, tied for 4th in the entire NHL and have scored points (aka won or tied) in our last 6 games.

    And, yet, Nationwide was still half full. I’m starting to wonder what this team has to do to pack the place?? Our next 3 games are on the road (Chicago, Detroit, and Nashville) but we have a home game a week from Monday. Hopefully, this team’s fantastic play thus far will be rewarded with a great crowd for that one . . . I don’t think that the Buckeyes play on Monday nights. :wink:

    I really think a lot of it has to do with the press. We’ve been slowly climbing in the rankings… we were ranked 13th last week in the CNN power rankings, and Bob Hunter had Columbus 4th in the NHL overall rankings today. Up until last week, there was literally NOTHING in the national sports pages regarding Columbus. It was like we didn’t exist. I haven’t had a chance to check out the lastest, but apparently the NHL news is finally starting to pick up some buzz.

    I also think that the vast majority of Columbus sports fans are thinking Buckeye football right now, not hockey. With a National Championship in sight, what else to expect? I hope hockey can at least bump golf and NASCAR to the end of the sports broadcast soon! I do expect that when football season ends, and people figure out that the Blue Jackets are tearing it up, you won’t be able to find a seat in the arena.

  26. alison
    alison November 6, 2007 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm

    I actually look forward to the day when it’s hard to scalp cheap tickets to the Jackets!

  27. TimFitz November 7, 2007 12:40 am at 12:40 am

    The guys at the Dispatch do a great job of covering hockey and it’s only a matter of time before people really start paying attention.

    It’s easy to harp about the OSU fans, but the fact of the matter is that we are #1 in the nation right now. If we were #12 or something, I too would be pissed that they get all of the attention, but when you’re on top of the BCS then people are bound to be watching your every move.

    Personally, I’ve seen alot of BlueJackets promotions this year, but they’re mostly “buy one, get a game in December half-off” deals. Most fans have an easy source for cheap or free tickets if they just ask around for people who work at Nationwide and what-not. I bet this Friday night’s game against the Red Wings will be PACKED, and if they win we’ll have something to talk about for the rest of the month.

  28. ChrisD28 November 7, 2007 1:11 am at 1:11 am

    TimFitz wrote The guys at the Dispatch do a great job of covering hockey and it’s only a matter of time before people really start paying attention.

    It’s easy to harp about the OSU fans, but the fact of the matter is that we are #1 in the nation right now. If we were #12 or something, I too would be pissed that they get all of the attention, but when you’re on top of the BCS then people are bound to be watching your every move.

    Personally, I’ve seen alot of BlueJackets promotions this year, but they’re mostly “buy one, get a game in December half-off” deals. Most fans have an easy source for cheap or free tickets if they just ask around for people who work at Nationwide and what-not. I bet this Friday night’s game against the Red Wings will be PACKED, and if they win we’ll have something to talk about for the rest of the month.

    It will absolutely be packed.

    Because it is in Detroit, whose fans are unrivaled in the States. I would venture to guess that only Minnesota and Buffalo’s fans could even contend with Detroit’s.

  29. ChrisD28 November 7, 2007 1:17 am at 1:17 am

    HeySquare wrote http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/allan_muir/11/02/blue.jackets.success/index.html

    Nice article on the Jackets at SI.com

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/bluejackets/stories/2007/11/06/jackets06.ART_ART_11-06-07_C1_K28CSBC.html?sid=101

    And I thought this one in the Dispatch was an interesting read

    That SI article was solid. Thanks for the link. I wouldn’t have seen it, as I usually get my sports news from ESPN.com.

  30. milodesc January 19, 2008 8:47 am at 8:47 am

    :shock:

  31. chaptal
    chaptal January 19, 2008 9:51 am at 9:51 am

    I’ve been watching hockey for thirty years and that’s one of the top five goals I have ever seen.

    Hitchcock has the team playing great at home. If they can approach .500 on the road, there’s a good shot for more hockey in April in Columbus.

  32. ChrisD28 January 19, 2008 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm

    Here’s a link to an article from http://www.nhl.com, where they are now referring to it as “The Goal”!

    http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=350470&nhlLink=true&page=NewsPage&service=page

    Tough 3 road games coming up, but Dallas has been a bit cold lately and Anaheim is on a 7-game win streak so I figure they’re due for a loss.

    I watch every game anyway, but it is really great to actually have something to still care about this year. It is also really great to see Nikolai Zherdev playing the way that he is. He has been my favorite player since he’s joined the team. But only now are we finally seeing what he can really do. This is his confidence year, next year will be his breakout year. I’m calling it right now, Zherdev will be an NHL all-star next year.

  33. HeySquare
    HeySquare January 19, 2008 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm

    ChrisD28 wrote I watch every game anyway, but it is really great to actually have something to still care about this year. It is also really great to see Nikolai Zherdev playing the way that he is. He has been my favorite player since he’s joined the team. But only now are we finally seeing what he can really do. This is his confidence year, next year will be his breakout year. I’m calling it right now, Zherdev will be an NHL all-star next year.

    I gotta say, I think you are right. And I couldn’t be happier about it. I was so psyched when he joined the team, and just thought his heart wasn’t in it when I first saw him play. I used to call him the princess. Not anymore. After he blocked that shot the other night… I’m convinced that he’s playing for the team now, and he will just continue to get better and better. I’ve never seen anyone skate like him, and now that he’s willing to follow that up with physical skill and team play, he is an absolute force on ice. Whether the team makes it to the playoffs this year or not, I really couldn’t be happier… they are really playing this year, rather than just going through the motions. And that’s all that really matters to me.

  34. ChrisD28 January 19, 2008 1:38 pm at 1:38 pm

    HeySquare wrote Whether the team makes it to the playoffs this year or not, I really couldn’t be happier… they are really playing this year, rather than just going through the motions. And that’s all that really matters to me.

    That’s exactly what’s so fun about hockey fans here! Because of our relative lack of success so far, we’ve been trained to be happy with the little things. I also hope to make the playoffs but am happy to just see a team that is coming out and competing and playing with heart almost every night. I was having a discussion with somebody the other day who said “What’s the big deal? Even if they make the playoffs they’ll lose in the first round.” First of all, I don’t necessarily think that is true (see Edmonton last year). Secondly I would be thrilled to just make the playoffs with a team that was universally placed amongst the bottom 3 or 4 in the league by every single source of hockey news preseason. People don’t even realize that we have a self-imposed salary cap that falls well below the league cap. I think if we can make the playoffs this year, or even come close, that self-imposed cap is going to disappear and we will see some major moves in the off-season. I want to be in the playoffs so bad . . . maybe that would finally rally the majority of this town around the team and the sport.

  35. gramarye
    gramarye January 19, 2008 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm

    Hey, ’tis the season of runner-up finishes, so maybe Stanley Cup Finals (going up 3-0 and then losing 3-4, I’m calling it).

    Of course, for us to even make it to the Stanley Cup Finals means we’d have beaten Detroit along the way, which would be pretty impressive in its own right.

  36. ChrisD28 January 19, 2008 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm

    gramarye wrote Hey, ’tis the season of runner-up finishes, so maybe Stanley Cup Finals (going up 3-0 and then losing 3-4, I’m calling it).

    Of course, for us to even make it to the Stanley Cup Finals means we’d have beaten Detroit along the way, which would be pretty impressive in its own right.

    No worries there. Detroit spends more money than any team in the league so that they can play an extra 4 to 7 games every year. i.e. They lose early in the playoffs quite a bit. Funny, really.

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