What better way to kick-start a new week than with a Rick Nash update.
Larry Brooks reports this morning that, though Glen Sather is unfazed by the potential cap squeeze the Rangers would find themselves in were they to acquire Nash in the next seven days, he is put off by the extremely high price tag levied on his star asset by Jackets GM Scott Howson.
Brooks “believes” that price tag to be Brandon Dubinsky, plus Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto, Chris Kreider, and a first-round pick or another top prospect. Suffice to say, that’s a non-starter from a Rangers perspective.
At this point, a trade for Nash would seem unlikely, particularly given Howson’s apparent determination to cash in on his captain were he to move him before the February 27 deadline. Of course, much can – and undoubtedly will – change in a week.
There’s no doubting the skillset Nash would bring to New York, and at a lesser cap-hit he would perhaps be worth such a big investment. But his hit is $7.8m per season, the fifth highest in the NHL, and as such he simply isn’t worth the loss of those assets at this point.
Nonetheless, several parts of Brooks’ column would seem to indicate a willingness on Sather’s part to continue discussions over Nash this week.
Sather apparently believes Nash, who has scored between 27 and 41 goals for seven straight seasons, would fortify the Rangers, who have come from modest beginnings to first place in the East by nine points over the Bruins and Devils.
Of course, there are two schools of thought at this point of the season. With a contender’s window open for the first-placed Rangers, is this the time at which you pay the price to acquire the piece that puts you over the top? Personally I feel the cost is just too much for Nash and his crippling cap-hit, but I can see the argument for acquiring another top-end forward. If only Bobby Ryan were still available.
In fact, fellow Jackets forward Jeff Carter presents a more cap-friendly option for Sather if he is looking to deal with Howson before the deadline, though his disappearing act during 61 minutes at the Garden last night won’t have done much to heighten his stock.
Whether it’s Nash, Carter or a third-line pick-up, it’s sure to be an interesting week ahead.