NHL Trade Rumors: How the NY Rangers Can Win Without Rick Nash

Nick ViscontiContributor IFebruary 22, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 19:  Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates the puck up ice during the game against the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena on January 19, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.  The Predators defeated the Blue Jackets 3-0.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Rick Nash is without a doubt a top prize for this year's trade deadline.  With his infamous list of five teams he would accept a trade to still a secret, we can only assume what teams are on that list.  The New York Rangers are a likely frontrunner to acquire the talented Blue Jackets captain, but at what cost? 

After last night's 2-0 loss to the Penguins, Glen Sather is going to be foaming at the mouth to trade for Rick Nash.  Sather has been a lot better with trades as of late and made some very good ones.  However, I see the old Sather coming out and making a bad deal for Nash. Dubinsky, Kreider, another player and a first round pick is way too much for Rick Nash.  The Rangers don't need Nash to win.  They need these four key players to step up and put some pucks in the net.

Brandon Dubinsky has six goals and 19 assists for 25 points this year.  Many Ranger fans are wondering why this key player on this team is slumping.  Last year he lead the team in goals and points (24 G and 54 P) and isn't living up to the $4.2 million contract he signed this past summer.  Granted, he's a blue collar player, is physical and blocks shots, he is a key member of this team and a prefect compliment and substitute for captain Ryan Callahan.

Last year Brian Boyle scored a career-high 21 goals and 35 points.  This year he has a measly five goals and 15 points.  Granted Boyle isn't a goal scorer and is more of an enforcer, but he proved last year that he can put pucks in the net, but hasn't found his groove this year.   

Derek Stepan had 21 goals and 45 points last year and is currently fourth on the team with 12 goals this year.  Only needing nine goals to match his rookie season total, the sophomore slump hasn't hit Stepan too hard, but its definitely affecting him.

Artem Anisimov has 11 goals and 29 points compared to his 18 goals and 44 points last season.  He has the potential to score some goals and could be a perennial 20+ goal scorer.  He needs to put in the work, and he could help this team make a long playoff run. 

The 2011-2012 New York Rangers have the tools necessary with the best goalie in the NHL (and soon-to-be Vezina Trophy winner) Henrik Lundqvist, a superior defensive unit, a great penalty kill and a hardworking, blue collar attitude.  Now they only need guys to score more goals.  These four guys need to step up and show what they're capable of and prove to Glen Sather that the team can win without having to trade away some key players and future All-Stars to get Rick Nash.  Now don't get me wrong, Rick Nash would be a very valuable addition to most teams, but the Rangers aren't one of those teams.