NHL Trade Rumors: How Rick Nash Could End Up with the San Jose Sharks

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NHL Trade Rumors: How Rick Nash Could End Up with the San Jose Sharks
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On Thursday, the San Jose Sharks were named as one of five teams in which Rick Nash would agree to go to in a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets

On Friday, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area wrote that the Sharks would be unlikely to acquire the superstar forward, as any deal involving Nash would start with the Sharks giving up Joe Pavelski or Logan Couture, two of their prized young phenoms.

Here's a potential Rick Nash deal between the Sharks and Blue Jackets, via dudesonhockey.com:

To Columbus: Joe Pavelski (in place of a Brayden Schenn type signed long term), Jamie McGinn, Justin Braun (top NHL ready D-prospect), their pick of Tyson Sexsmith, Harri Sateri or Alex Stalock.

To San Jose: Rick Nash and Samuel Pahlsson

Way too much, right? 

Well, considering what has happened with the Sharks lately, maybe not. The Sharks have lost three straight games since Thursday, which included two games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes, two non-playoff teams.

That's a pretty big warning sign. Even more alarming is the fact that if the Phoenix Coyotes notch two more points, the Sharks could find themselves in the eighth spot in the Western Conference, with the L.A. Kings right on their heels. 

So, what does this all mean? GM Doug Wilson is not afraid to pull the trigger on a mega-deal, and it is not very often that a superstar like Rick Nash is available on the market. Here are some thoughts to contemplate upon, as the rumors around Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to swirl.

Where will Rick Nash end up?

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The Sharks' next opponent is...

You guessed it, the Columbus Blue Jackets

The Sharks will travel to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, and you can bet that Sharks' GM Doug Wilson be there, along with Blue Jackets' GM Scott Howson.

On Thursday, Wilson acquired forward Dominic Moore from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a second-round pick, hours before the Sharks were set to face the Lightning in Tampa. In fact, Wilson was seen sitting in the bleachers with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman before the game.

Now, Dominic Moore is no Rick Nash, but you can guarantee that Doug Wilson and Scott Howson will talk about some trade possibilities.

Considering that the Blue Jackets are the worst team in the league, people may be more interested in Rick Nash than the actual game itself. 

And, Wilson may have some pressure to pull of a deal because the current front runners to acquire Nash are—the L.A. Kings.

Yes, the same L.A. Kings that nearly eliminated the Sharks from the playoffs in the first round a year ago. Reports are that the Kings could offer goalie Jonathon Bernier and defenseman Jack Johnson, and that they are in desperate need of some scoring. 

The Kings are right on the Sharks' heels, just four points off of grabbing the division lead. If the Kings acquire Nash, this could vault them past San Jose and lead them into a playoff run (yes, Nash is just that good). And, as most Bay Area sports fans know, Los Angeles is not exactly our favorite sports city. 

Now, could Sharks' GM Doug Wilson be so paranoid that he acquires Rick Nash just so that the L.A. Kings don't get him? 

(Just as a side note, the MLB's San Francisco Giants picked up Cody Ross off of waivers in 2010 just to block the San Diego Padres from claiming him, and Ross played a pivotal role in the Giants' World Series title run.)

But, we're talking about a superstar here, and it would be awfully tough to pull of a deal to acquire him that does not involve the Sharks' top players. However, the Sharks have the right guy to pull this deal off by the name of—Doug Wilson.

Remember, it was Wilson who acquired Joe Thornton in midseason in 2004, and look at what Joe has done for San Jose. If there is one GM in the league who has the ability to pull off this trade, it's Wilson.

Do you remember who the Sharks gave up to get "Jumbo" Joe Thornton? Probably not. It was Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart. Do you even know where these players are now? Probably not.

When Thornton came to the Sharks, San Jose was in the midst of a 10 game losing streak. By the end of the season, Thornton was the MVP, the leading point scorer, and his linemate Jonathon Cheechoo won the Rocket Richard Trophy for the leading goal scorer. Oh, and by the way, the Sharks went to playoffs that year.

So, let's hope that Doug Wilson can somehow pull out his bag of tricks and convince Blue Jackets' GM Scott Howson to trade Rick Nash. 

 

Eric He is an NHL Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report. Feel free to comment on his articles and contact him anytime.

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