New York Rangers: Trading Rick Nash Would Be a Horrible Mistake


May 29, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) and Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (51) fight for the puck during the first period of game seven of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After another mediocre postseason, Rick Nash has had his name appear in trade rumors. If he is traded, it will be a huge mistake for the New York Rangers.

It has been a little over one week since the New York Rangers season ended with a square punch to the jejunum. Per usual, fans and beat writers are panicking, trying to think of ways to trade everyone on the roster, including the guy who sells peanuts in the upper-200s. Rick Nash, the teams best goal scorer, though, has had his name put into the rumor mill as many are suggesting that the Rangers trade their stud forward.

If the Rangers were dumb enough- and I pray that they aren’t- to trade Nash, it would be one of the worst mistakes in franchise history.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

Yes, it is undeniable that Nash hasn’t been a game-breaker in the postseason like many were hoping he would be. But that doesn’t change the fact that Nash is one of the most important players on this team.

People seem to forget that early in the season, when the Rangers were ravished by injuries and Henrik Lundqvist was still trying to find his game, Nash carried this team. For all of September, October and November, Nash put the Rangers on his back, scoring goals, forechecking, killing penalties, and making everyone that played with him better.

Nash’s statistics for the Rangers are excellent. Since his first game as a Ranger in 2013, Nash leads the Rangers in goals (89) and points (150). This season, Nash had a career year with 42 goals, doubling the total of the second leading goal scorer. He was third on the team in iHSC (individual high-danger scoring chances), tenth on the team in SAT Rel%, and eighth on the team in SAT. He continued to be an excellent two-way player, playing a vital role on the penalty kill as well as being a key cog on the power play.

Not only is Nash an excellent player, he makes the players around him better. It is no coincidence that Derick Brassard had career highs in almost every offensive category after being put on a line with Nash in mid-December. Nash is a player who draws so much attention that his line mates will have the ability to shine.

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Was Nash excellent this postseason? No. Was he the reason the Rangers lost to a better team? Absolutely not. Before we all try to throw dirt on Nash, lets remember that the Rangers dress 17 other skaters, and those skaters came up empty in Games Five and Seven as well. Lets also remember that the Rangers had four of their top-six defenseman playing with serious injuries, and that Mats Zuccarello, one of the teams top-five most important players, missed two series with brain trauma.

Also, since the narrative is that the Rangers offense failed them, how would trading your best goal scorer for depth players help the team’s offense? The short answer to that question, of course, is that it wouldn’t help at all.

Nash needs to be better in the playoffs, there is no question about that. But, if the Rangers decide to trade Nash, it could go down as a franchise-changer for the all the wrong reasons.

All statistics are via,, and hockey 

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