Though there is still about 21 hours remaining before the 3 pm NHL Trade Deadline, reports are trickling in that the Rangers are backing out of trying to acquire Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash.
Several reports, including Nick Kypreos of SportsNet.ca, are saying the Rangers’ unwillingness to meet Jackets GM Scott Howson’s demands — rumored to include one of either Michael Del Zotto or Ryan McDonagh and top-prospect Chris Kreider — will take them out of the running to land the 27-year-old Nash, who was taken first overall in 2002.
Rumors were the Rangers offered Brandon Dubinsky, defensive prospect Tim Erixon and a first-round pick for Nash.
Although the saga is still alive, this news leaves two teams still linked to Nash: the Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks. Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick, said the hope was to get something done prior to the deadline rather than playing the season out and making a trade in June at the Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.
“We’re hopeful a deal can get done prior to the trade deadline that is fair and equitable to the Blue Jackets,” Resnick told TSN’s Bob McKenzie Saturday.
Aside from having the assets to land Nash, teams have to also deal with his cap-hit. Nash is in the second year of an eight-year contract with a cap-hit of $7.8 million annually through 2017-18, with a no-trade clause. In order to be traded, he’d have to agree to the deal.
We’re not out of the water yet, but things are looking good. There’s no deny Nash’s skill, but to justify the price and the cap-hit on a player that has only scored 40 goals once and has never broken 80 points in a single season would be a bad move for this organization. He would help the current squad, especially on the powerplay, but to sell the farm to bring him to New York would be a bad move.
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