Rick Nash: Will he stay or will he go?
NY Rangers, San Jose, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Detroit have all something in common. Rick Nash wants to be traded and they make up his short list of approved teams. So if the deal gets done (but for safety reasons please do not hold your breath), it will require only a nod of approval from Nash if it’s with the teams I mentioned above. Unless the big winger changes his mind and at that point says, “Oh, what the hell”.
Since we really can’t tap into the brains of Columbus’ front office to harvest some life saving information of our own, nor have we heard anything from @HockeyyInsiderr (A highly recommended hockey insider who usually isn’t far off in his predictions) what can we do? We could accept that fact and carry on with life; drink, work, go see a movie, and other mundane things in our day-to-day lives. We both know that’s not happening.
NY Rangers is the first team on his supposed short list. The Rangers lacked scoring in the playoffs. I can hear the cries already “but..but..LA was bad at scoring and still won”. True, but LA had no problem scoring in the playoffs and the Rangers did. LA had 3 guys with 8 goals and one of them they got at the trade deadline from Columbus. Remember the dreadful and disappointing season Mr.Carter was having as a Blue Jacket? 25 points in 39 games with a minus-11? He had 8 goals and 4 on the PP for the Kings in the playoffs while helping them win the big boys trophy. You can see how bad of an influence Richards and Carter are in the locker room, with their drinking and partying distractions, right Philly fans?
To me, I see the same thing happening to Nash. Glenn Sather tried to extract the prize-worthy winger from Columbus before the trade deadline to no avail. Sather/Torts sees that Brad Richards is starving to have a bromance (ugh, hate that word – sorry) with someone. Gaborik can score on his own and has proven that. Brad needs Nash and the Rangers need goals to help Henrik out. The problem with the Rangers is that they really do not have pieces that they can move. Kreider is not going anywhere and Columbus will not be happy with only draft picks. Scott Howson will need to bring the price down a bit to be able to make a deal here. Maybe Del Zotto, two first round picks, and two prospects?
For the French fans my amazing mspaint skills.
Philadelphia’s strategy during the off-season seems to be “Gotta Catch Them All”. Nash provides scoring help, but what Philly really needs is to fix the gashing back-end. They do not possess the best goaltending in NHL (that was meant as a joke… it was dreadful). Chris Pronger may never play again and now Matt Carle was lost to free agency. That is two top-4 defenders in one calendar year gone. Ouch! This is why I do not see them giving up much for Nash. Scoring was not exactly an issue for them during the playoffs and so this would seem less of a priority. I just do not see any major pieces being moved here. Philly is not going to move young talent like Couturier and Read. Maybe something like Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and 2 first round picks?
The Detroit Red Wings did not really have an issue scoring throughout the regular season, but sort of fell into a black hole during the playoffs. The Nashville Predators exposed the lack of depth, mostly due to injury, and not-so-ready young bucks, and only allowed the Wings to score 3 goals once during a 5-game series. A big winger like Nash would solve that issue. His talent can really shine with not having to carry the load of a team on his shoulders. The problem here is what Howson is asking. Detroit has no problem trading 1st round picks, but trading prospects? I am not sure Holland will be willing to do so given his track record. The Wings also need to improve the back-end, and for me this is a bit more important than getting Nash. Two first round picks, Helm, and Tatar would be a possible price for Nash. It might get inflated since the Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets are divisional rivals.
What is the price to pay for Nash? Who knows. If you’re a team like the Rangers, the time to win is now. Nash is a proven talent now and NYR are really close to being the best team in hockey. Pull the trigger, Glen, we all know you really, really want to. Philly should back out of the Nash sweepstakes as they need to fix their defensive corp first. Detroit will not part ways with too much of their future talent (especially Helmer) for Nash, as the team feels comfortable with their top-6. Columbus is clearly looking for young offensive core, to rebuild the Carter/Nash size hole. I am not sure the deal can be done at all this off-season. I agree with Ben Kerr as he mentions here, that Howson needs to sell Nash on the team. They got a new goalie and a healthy defensive corp. Try and push the trade back to the trade deadline even, where GM’s triggers get extra shaky. The lesson learned from this past season that a trade deadline deal, a good one, can push you over the top and help you secure a championship.
What would your offer be for Nash?
Oh, and in-case you forgot who Rick Nash was…here is a quick reminder.
…and that is the Last Word.
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