NHL Trade Rumors: Why the St. Louis Blues Have the Pieces for a Rick Nash Deal

Ryan BothmannSenior Analyst IIFebruary 20, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01:  Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets waits for a faceoff during the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on February 1, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Although it seems as if Rick Nash does not have a strong interest in coming to St. Louis, the Blues could definitely put together a very strong package that could entice the Blue Jackets to pull the trigger. Of course, the Blue Jackets would also need Nash to waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to be finalized.

From the Blues' perspective, they would want Nash because he can score goals for an offense that has been deflated for much of the season. The Blues have made significant strides in improving their offense over the last few games, but a 2-1 loss to Columbus earlier this week showed that the offense is not entirely on track yet. The Blues could definitely use another goal-scorer to help boost their offensive attack.

From the Blue Jackets' perspective, the season has been an absolute disaster. I do not think the Blue Jackets are quite as bad as their record indicates though. The team is in the Central Division of the NHL, which may be one of the toughest divisions that any sport has seen in some time. By trading Rick Nash, the Blue Jackets could free up some major cap space and bring in a number of prospects to help their team continue to rebuild.

If at some point over the next week Nash does express an interest in being traded to St. Louis, the Blues could meet the expectations for what Columbus wants for their captain.

Obviously, to acquire Nash, it would take a massive deal. The Blue Jackets are reportedly interested in acquiring help at basically every position. They want a goalie, they want forwards and they want defensemen.

The Blues could offer them all of this.

At the goalie position, the Blues are currently set. Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak have formed the best one-two punch in the NHL and have anchored the Blues' No. 1-ranked defense. The Blues also have two outstanding goalies, Ben Bishop and Jake Allen, who are playing with their minor league affiliate the Peoria Rivermen. The Blues would obviously want to keep at least one of these guys, but they could afford to send one of them away in a deal for Nash.


At the forward position, the Blues likely only have one player on their roster they would be willing to trade: Chris Stewart. Stewart is only 24 years old but has not lived up to any of his expectations in St. Louis this season. Blues Coach Ken Hitchcock recently demoted Stewart to the fourth line because he did not see him working hard enough.

The Blues also have some forwards and centers in Peoria that could possibly be dealt in a deal for Rick Nash. The most notable players of this group are center T.J. Hensick and left-winger Brett Sterling. Hensick has 19 goals and 45 assists on the season for Peoria while Sterling has 21 goals and 23 assists for the Rivermen. The Blues could throw in one or maybe even both players in a trade package.

Finally, the Blues could offer the Jackets some solid defensive prospects. The top prospect the Blues could offer on defense is Cade Fairchild. Fairchild has racked up six goals and 21 assists this season for Peoria and could be a great prospect for the Blues to deal away.

Just like at the goalie position, the Blues are extremely strong at the defenseman position as well, and it could be hard for a young prospect to make the pro team. Some other prospects the Blues could use in a trade include Danny Syvret, Brett Ponich and Ian Cole.

In my opinion, there are not many teams who could put together a stronger package for Rick Nash than the St. Louis Blues can. Now all we can do is wait and see if the Blues can get a deal done for Nash or for another top player in the league.