The Columbus Blue Jackets and captain Rick Nash appear to be further apart in their contract negotiations than either side would have expected.
According to a report in the Columbus Dispatch, the club and winger, who can become a free agent at the end of the 2009-10 season met on Wednesday night and the Blue Jackets' offer fell well short of what Nash and his agent, Joe Resnick, were expecting.
"Things didn't line up the way I anticipated them lining up," Nash told the Dispatch. "I thought we had a solid chance of getting (a contract) done, especially with all the interest they said they had going into this.
"If this doesn't happen in the next week, and we can't hit a number where we're both satisfied and we both feel it's fair … if they want me that bad, they'll get it done."
The Dispatch speculates that the club came forward with a five-year deal, which was unacceptable to the 25-year old Nash.
"There were tons of teams throwing some pretty big money around (Wednesday)," Nash said. "If this doesn't get done, I'm sure I won't have a problem getting signed by somebody next summer."
For his part, Resnick will likely make a counter offer to the Blue Jackets on Thursday, and that Columbus general manger Scott Howson is looking forward to.
"This is part of the process," Resnick said. "We've begun, and we'll continue to work through and reach an agreement."
In 2008-09, Nash was fifth in the NHL with 40 goals. He also tallied 39 assists in 78 games played.
"We'll come back with something and see what they have to say," Nash told the Dispatch. "I would be nicer to be closer, but I have another year either way. I'm in no rush. I can play out the season."