Mar 17, 2012; Vancouver, British Columbia,CANADA; Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash (61) during the warmup at Rogers Arena against the Vancouver Canucks. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE

The New York Rangers And Rick Nash: Possibilities

I’ve sat back for the most part and let the insanity that surrounds the Columbus Blue Jackets and Scott Howson float by on my Twitter timeline and Google News feed without much comment.  Mostly because I can’t begin to fathom the stress and pressure that is on that team, mainly Howson, and I feel another critical voice in the crowd isn’t really needed.  What is needed is some perspective.

Scott Howson has had an awful season.  Last summer, when the Columbus Blue Jackets signed James Wisniewski and Jeff Carter, it was a bold move that was supposed to shake up the franchise.  And it certainly did.  Negatively.  Stories of Carter barricading himself in his apartment until a trade went through spread across the internet.

And now Howson is back for another summer of trying to make a change in the Columbus organization.  Rumors have swirled about that he turned down all of the New York Islanders’ draft picks in exchange for CBJ’s number two pick overall.  That followed by the firing of four of Columbus’s scouts kicked off the whirlwind summer of Howson trying to save the team.

Howson is trying to keep the team afloat by dealing their captain, Rick Nash, to a team in exchange for some pretty loft return players.  You may laugh at his requests (Nash for Jeff Skinner being the most recent rumor), or try to justify them (start high and negotiate down), or ignore them completely.

Is Howson wrong to be asking such high returns for Rick Nash?

No, not really.

Amid all this insanity, there seems to be a forgotten fact, Rick Nash is a good player.  Since joining the NHL in 2002, Nash has had two seasons where he has not scored 30 or more goals.  His first was his rookie season, the second was in 2006-2007 where he hit 27 goals.  Not too shabby.

Any team that’s looking to add to their goal scoring (ahemNewYorkRangersahem), should be looking at Rick Nash as a potential addition.  And Nash, should be opening up his list of teams.  You want out of Columbus?  Give Howson more options because what he has now isn’t cutting it.  Howson isn’t going to let his best player go for nothing, but no team is going to take a gamble on Nash and give up 4 players and a draft pick.

Should the New York Rangers be taking an interest in Nash?   Yes, yes they should.  And if Glen Sather can keep it under control, I will welcome Rick Nash on to the team.  My hesitation are:

  • Glen Sather has a habit of signing the name, not the talent.  Throwing any amount of money at the players to entice them to New York.
  • Rick Nash has 6 more seasons left on his contract and is a $7.8 million cap hit.  If he’s a bust, he’s a really expensive bust.
  • What the New York Rangers have going on now is really working, are you going to break that up for Nash or take your chances on in system players?

If I was doing this deal, I’d offer up Brandon Dubinsky (for the cap hit), Tim Erixon (a young player for their future), and a second round draft pick.  Any more and you’re overvaluing.

I don’t fault Howson for asking for the moon, but at this point in the summer you need to start being realistic.  Everyone knows Nash is on the market and everyone knows you’re in a bind to dump him.  Shooting for an impressive package makes sense in April, not in July.

Don’t give up Nash for a bag of square pucks, but don’t expect an all star roster in return.

And New York Rangers, don’t be dumb and offer the moon to Howson.

Just keep it in check everyone.

Lets Go Rangers!

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets New York Rangers Rick Nash Scott Howson

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