NHL Trade Rumors: Why the New York Rangers Must Nab Rick Nash

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2012

SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 05:  Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets in action against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion at San Jose on January 5, 2012 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a 4-2 drubbing by the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night, the New York Rangers were brought back down to earth. They have been playing extremely well lately, but something didn't click on the offensive end this time at the Garden.

If they had ever thought that they didn't need to make an offensive move before the trade deadline, last night's five-shot first period should make them reconsider.

The Rangers have been out-shot in 29 games as compared to out-shooting opponents in 25 games. They have been out-shot overall 1627-1581. New York is 24th in the league in total shots for. This is not great for a team looking to win the Stanley Cup in 2012.

On Monday, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News gave some evidence that the Rangers might be looking to add Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets. This would add a new firepower to the offense that struggles at times, especially on the power play (although that is slowly improving).

Of course, it looks like many other teams are in the mix and the price would be steep.

But it's worth it.

Nash is a big right winger, who comes in at 6'4" and 220 pounds. He was the first selection in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, which went to the expansion team, the Blue Jackets.

Nash has scored 18 goals and has 21 assists in this, his ninth year in the NHL. He is 27 years old and has a lot of great hockey ahead of him.

His scoring prowess could really help take some of the weight off of Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan. Having another threat could open each of the them up to be even more effective.

Nash has been stuck in Columbus for his entire career and has still been able to put up solid numbers.  There's a chance he could explode if given the opportunity to play on a team that has Stanley Cup potential.

So what would the Rangers have to give up to get Rick Nash?

The Ottawa Sun reported that the Blue Jackets may be looking for Brandon Dubinsky, Chris Kreider and a No. 1 pick from the Rangers.

This is a high price.

But with Dubinsky making $4.2 million every year and seeing his production take a big hit during this season (only six goals in 53 games), this might not be a terrible decision to make some cap space.

Replacing Dubinsky with Nash would help New York get a lot more shots on net, as Nash is third in the league in shots. Dubinsky is only 204th.

Giving up prospect Chris Kreider wouldn't be too much of a hit, since the Rangers have quite a good selection of prospects in the bag.

Whatever deal the Rangers need to make to get Nash to New York, they should do it. This move would add versatility to an already incredibly dangerous team and would make them very difficult to beat down the stretch and in the playoffs.