NHL Trade Rumors: Rangers Can Benefit from Not Trading for Rick Nash
In addition to holding onto a strong core of players, the Rangers now have many options they can pursue in the free agent period starting in July. With players like Ryan Suter and Zach Parise set to hit the open market, the team can address its most dire need after the postseason.
The only last-ditch offer that has leaked out thus far was from the New York Rangers. Larry Brooks of the New York Post had this to say:
There is no doubt that Glen Sather lusted to bring Rick Nash to New York, but when the Rangers’ general manager stuck to his guns in resisting Columbus’ demands that the package in return would have to include either Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto plus either Derek Stepan or Carl Hagelin, plus Boston College winger Chris Kreider and Brandon Dubinsky, talks that went to the wire on Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline ultimately went nowhere.
Columbus GM Scott Howson rejected what is believed a Rangers' final offer of Dubinsky, 21-year-old defenseman Tim Erixon, 2011 first-rounder J.T. Miller, 2010 second-rounder Christian Thomas and a first-round selection in this June's Entry Draft.
One of the major reasons the Blueshirts coveted the power forward was because of his size and skill. Nash stand 6'4" and weighs 218 pounds. Having a big-bodied forward with skilled hands and a scoring prowess would have greatly enhanced the Rangers' scoring line currently pivoted by Brad Richards and flanked by Ryan Callahan.
However there is a chance the Rangers will add a player of similar size and projected talent at no cost when it comes to assets. When Glen Sather addressed the media before the Rangers' matchup against the New Jersey Devils, he alluded to the fact that the Rangers could sign some of their college kids to pro contracts.
He later elaborated on that allusion during an interview with the New York Post.
“Absolutely,” when asked if he expects the 6-foot-3, 225-winger who presents an uncommon blend of size, speed, power and touch, to leave Boston College at the end of the season.
“Absolutely,” Sather repeated, when asked if he intends/expects to sign Kreider in time for him to play this season.
If the Rangers do sign the 20-year-old, the first year of Kreider’s three-year Entry Level contract would be burned regardless of whether he plays a single game for the Rangers or even is placed on the NHL roster.
That is not a deterrent for Sather. It could, however, be additional incentive for Kreider, who has taken an accelerated course load and who is dedicated to getting a degree, to leave school before graduating. The next collective bargaining agreement is certain to feature a more restrictive Entry Level system.
Kreider has been the Rangers' most touted prospect since the late Alexei Cherepanov, and for good reason. Kreider has a good head on his shoulders and has insisted on securing a degree before entering the NHL. In order to speed up the process, Kreider has doubled up his course load for the past few semesters so he can graduate as a junior.
This type of determination is a distinguishable quality and only speaks to Kreider's character. He is a hard worker and with the proper development and seasoning, he will fit right into John Tortorella's system.
While turning pro doesn't exactly ensure NHL ice time, playing in the AHL could be beneficial for Kreider. Current studs Ryan McDonagh and Carl Hagelin all spent some time in the AHL before becoming Broadway mainstays.
While the proposition of Rick Nash appeared glamorous and sexy for fans clamoring for a Stanley Cup run, Kreider may pay off in the immediate future. If not this year, when you factor in the Rangers retaining their group of players and potentially adding a major UFA, the Broadway Blueshirts will be a lethal threat for the upcoming seasons.
Tom Urtz, Jr. is an NHL Featured Columnist. For NHL news, updates and alerts about players:
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