New York Rangers: Why Trading for Rick Nash Makes No Financial Sense

Harry Orbach MillerContributor IIIFebruary 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

With the NHL Trade Deadline approaching, there have been no shortage of Rick Nash to the New York Rangers rumours.

There have been rumours about trading Michael Del Zotto and Brandon Dubinsky. There have been rumours about trading top prospect Chris Kreider. There have even been rumours about trading all three.

But it just makes no financial sense for the Rangers to trade for Rick Nash.

No, the Rangers don't have money issues like the Islanders. What they do have is a hard salary cap that, unlike the Yankees, they actually can't go over. By trading for Rick Nash the Rangers would seriously limit their flexibility immediately and in the future.

Here's how:

Currently, the Rangers are committing big money to only two forwards, centre Brad Richards and winger Marian Gaborik. Now it would be safe to assume that if the Rangers do indeed trade for Rick Nash, he would join Gaborik and Richards to form the Rangers' undisputed top line.

Most likely the new top line would look like this: Nash–Richards–Gaborik.

There is no question that this line would be one of the best in the league and would dominate their opposition on a nightly basis. But it would be careless to overlook the financial ramifications of adding Nash.

Looking at the new top line from a pure cap hit perspective, the beauty of having three All-Stars on one line subsides: $7.8M – $6.7M – $7.5M.

With the addition of Nash the top line would occupy $22.0M against the salary cap ($63.7M)—almost 35 percent of the cap, ON THREE PLAYERS!

Throw in starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist ($6.9M) and top defensive pairing Dan Girardi ($3.3M) and Marc Staal ($4.0M) and the Rangers starting lineup occupies $36.1M against the cap.

There is just no way to justify spending 57 percent of a team's cap on five players. The Rangers are already a top team in the NHL and don't need to be shaken up to add a star player, especially one with almost a $8M cap hit.

Over the next few years the Rangers have key players such as Michael Del Zotto and Derek Stepan set to hit free agency. But they may have to let them walk if they take a on a contract like Nash's.

I know this isn't the word New Yorkers like to hear...but WAIT. This team already has superstars and promising youngsters in place. They are at the top of the Eastern conference and are only going to get better over the next few years. Depleting the roster and putting the team up against the salary cap wall isn't worth the one playoff run this year.

Remember New York, good things come to those who wait.