Based on rumblings in the Twitterverse, there appear to be only two suitors remaining for Rick Nash: the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers.
The Rangers may have to part with prized assets such as top prospect Chris Kreider or defenseman Michael Del Zotto to acquire Nash.
Mark Spector of Sportsnet tweeted about a possible offer on the table for the Rangers:
Nash to NYR deal has advanced. CBJ gets 1 of Del Zotto or McDonagh, a 1st, & prospect (Tim Erixon). NYR feels offer bests #Leafs. #SNtrade
— Mark Spector Sports (@SportsnetSpec) February 25, 2012
The deal from the Leafs that the Rangers feel they have "bested," according to The Fourth Period, includes defenseman Jake Gardiner, top prospect Joe Colborne, rookie winger Matt Frattin and a first round pick.
David Pagnotta, editor-in-chief at TFP, tweeted an alternative package that the Rangers are considering to offer to Columbus:
From what I hear re NYR: CBJ wants Stepan badly, but will "settle" for Hagelin. Dubinsky, Kreider, Stepan-or-Hagelin & pick (not nec. a 1st)
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) February 25, 2012
Which package is better?
According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, the Rangers are completely against the idea of moving Michael Del Zotto or Ryan McDonagh for Nash.
If true, this would nix Mark Spector's trade. The trade probably wouldn't have happened anyway, because the Blue Jackets would be receiving two young defensemen, but no forwards.
The trade that TFP suggests for the Rangers makes a little more sense, but sees the Jackets receiving three forwards and no defensemen.
Based on organizational needs, which for the Jackets is everything, the proposed package of Gardiner, Colborne, Frattin and a first rounder from the Leafs makes the most sense.
The Jackets would get two very good forward prospects and a young defenseman with huge upside. Let's also not forget that the Leafs' first round pick is significantly more valuable than the Rangers' first round pick.
Several questions then come to mind:
First off, which group of players and prospects holds the most promise?
Would the Rangers or the Leafs even be willing to part with the aforementioned assets?
Are the Rangers willing to change their internal chemistry given their current level of success?
And finally, is acquiring Nash even a good idea for either team?