This year’s NHL trades have gotten off to a slow start. A couple key players people thought would be shuffled around the league have been re-signed to their respective teams (Tuomo Ruutu, Andy Sutton…etc.) But what everyone seems to be waiting for is some of the bigger trades that are bound to happen right at the trade deadline. One of the most watched candidates for a trade is Blue Jacket’s captain, and 2o02′s 1st round draft pick, Rick Nash.
Numerous teams seem to be interested in the right-winger. And who wouldn’t be? I mean, he has had 42 points this season thus far. Despite playing for the worst team in the league (and subsequently hovering at a staggering -21 +/-, yeah, ouch!) Nash has managed to look desirable to other hockey clubs.
With the potential trade, Columbus could start to rebuild their franchise with a stronger goalie and a couple promising young players. This is obviously a dangerous move for the Jackets, and no one knows just how serious they are about trading away their captain. On the other hand, another team might be willing to pay big bucks or offer a serious trade to add Nash to their team as the missing piece to a Stanley cup victory.
Offers have started to come through from San Jose (off-season deal), the Rangers, Flyers, Kings, and Maple Leafs. Some look promising (Sharks, Rangers, and Kings) and others look like they will fall through. The Flyers deal will fall-through because of the price and the fact that the Flyers have already begun to make moves with the signing of Kubina (sidenote: this is much more important for the Flyers anyway, they need to build up their defense not their offense). There is really no way of knowing if the Jackets will hold off until the off-season or start making moves sometime before February 27th.
Another interesting chance to snag Rick Nash might be the Pittsburgh Penguins. Although the Penguins do not really have the cap money left to pick up someone with such a hefty price tag, they would certainly be able to if GM Ray Shero knew that Crosby wouldn’t be able to play for the rest of the season. With Crosby on long-term injury reserve, his 8.7 million paycheck also doesn’t count into the Pens’ salary cap until Crosby comes back. The only problem with this however, is there is still no timetable for Crosby’s return. Without knowing when Sid will be able to play, this trade is not really a safe one for the Pens (unless Ray Shero knows something we don’t).
Overall, I don’t really think any of the trade propositions I have heard of so far are worthwhile for the Blue Jackets. They do need to start rebuilding their team, but I am not sure trading away their captain (who should be the glue holding the team together) is the best plan of action. Maybe something will happen closer to the deadline, but I think if the Blue Jackets are smart they will hold on to Nash unless they get a stronger offer (ex. If the Sharks went back on their rejection of the Couture/Nash trade).
Do you agree? Will Nash stay with the Blue Jackets? Who do you think is offering the Jackets the best trade?