NHL Trade Rumors: Breaking Down Rick Nash's Possible Destinations
The biggest name left on the market for teams looking for an impact player is without a doubt Rick Nash. Last season, many people believed that he would be shipped somewhere if the price was right, as he seems to be a waste of talent out in Columbus.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch tweeted that Nash had listed the five teams which he would be willing to go to via trade: The Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks and the Detroit Red Wings.
So let's take a look at how Nash would fit into each of these systems.
Simon Despres would more than likely be involved in trade negotiations for Rick Nash.
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The Penguins really made a huge push to land unrestricted free agent Zach Parise, and after he decided to sign alongside Ryan Suter in Minnesota, Rick Nash would help fill an offensive slot left by Jordan Staal, who was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Although Brandon Sutter will more than likely take the role as the new third-line center, Rick Nash would be the perennial wing presence that Sidney Crosby has been looking for since entering the NHL. James Neal is a perfect example of how point totals can skyrocket when put on the ice with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, and Nash's individual numbers would surely rise.
The problem lies in what the Penguins would have to give up in order to land the Blue Jackets captain. General Manager Scott Howson has a high asking price, and the Penguins would without a doubt be sending some of their young talent to Columbus.
Guys that would more than likely be discussed are Dustin Jeffrey and Simon Despres, and if the Penguins could find a way to get rid of Paul Martin and his huge contract that would be a huge plus.
It is difficult to imagine Nash playing in Pittsburgh, but if GM Ray Shero is willing to give up some of his young talent, it might become a reality.
The Flyers will be without Jaromir Jagr during the 2012-13 season; he signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Stars.
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Another team that was at one point in the conversation to land Zach Parise, the Flyers would love to have the presence of Rick Nash on their top line.
It has been a quiet offseason for the Flyers, but not necessarily a bad one, and finding a way to trade for Rick Nash would add an offensive force that would compliment the foundation laid down by breakout superstar Claude Giroux last season.
Ruslan Fedotenko signed a one-year deal this offseason with Philly, and they also snagged defenseman Bruno Gervais, who played for the Tampa Bay Lightning last year, which will be a nice replacement on the blue line now that Carle is gone.
I don't believe that Rick Nash will land in Philly because they have an emerging superstar and leader in Giroux, and so much young talent that it is tough to predict how well Nash will fit in and affect team chemistry.
By not trading for Nash, GM Paul Holmgren can send a message to the locker room that he has faith in the current guys on the roster, and should send them into next season with some confidence.
New York Rangers
The Rangers first priority should be finding a way to improve their defensive core.
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The third consecutive team from the Atlantic Division, the New York Rangers would add even more fire power to a roster that led them to the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference last year.
The Rangers have been very quiet this offseason, but did add tough guys Arron Asham and Micheal Haley, as well as veteran forward Taylor Pyatt from the Phoenix Coyotes. After losing Brandon Prust, the Rangers made the necessary moves to make sure there is a physical presence on the roster.
It isn't difficult to imagine why Nash would want to go play in the Big Apple, but the chances of the Rangers making a move to add in another big-named forward just don't seem very likely.
With guys like Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and captain Ryan Callahan already in place up front, it would make more sense for them to try and find a way to trade for a notable defenseman to play along side Michael Del Zotto.
If the right offer gets put in place, then this trade could possibly happen, but I'd be very surprised if GM Glen Sather made a hard push with other spots on the roster that should be prioritized above getting Nash.
San Jose Sharks
San Jose needs to decide what they want to do with Patrick Marleau before pursuing Rick Nash.
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Rick Nash would be a very interesting fit in San Jose. The Sharks were the No. 7 seed in the West during the post-season, and seemed to take a step backward after being one of the teams to beat in the West over the last few years.
The Sharks are still a deep squad, but really need to make a decision about how they want to handle this offseason. They have yet to make any big moves, and if they hover where they are now, it is hard to expect anything more than a similar result during the 2012-13 season.
If they want to try and send away a player like Patrick Marleau, they can do that and begin the rebuilding process as their leaders begin to age toward retirement; however, if they want to try and win the Stanley Cup in the next year or two, trading for Nash is a great place to start.
If Nash were to land in San Jose, the line combination of Marleau-Thornton-Nash would become one of the best lines in the NHL, and would immediately put the Sharks back up as a favorite in the West.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings need to find a replacement for Nicklas Lidstrom before pursuing Rick Nash.
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When Ryan Suter hit the market, it made the most sense that he would sign with the Detroit Red Wings and fill the hole that Nicklas Lidstrom left after his retirement. They had the cap space, and all the pieces in place that could take them back to the Stanley Cup Finals. But as we all know, that didn't happen.
If the Red Wings landed Rick Nash, they would be one of the most exciting offensive forces to watch in recent memory. Their power play would be nearly unstoppable and they would once again be a favorite out of the Western Conference.
The problem is that Detroit needs defenseman more than ever before, so it is really hard to imagine that the Red Wings are going to make a run after Nash.
It would be very interesting to see what kind of offensive flare he would bring to a roster already filled with offensive superstars, but I just can't see it happening.
Columbus Blue Jackets
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And we finally arrive at where Rick Nash is more than likely going to be playing the 2012-13 season, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The cold hard fact is that unless General Manager Scott Howson substantially decreases his asking price for Rick Nash, there is no way that he ever lets go of him.
I mean, Howson wanted Jeff Skinner from Carolina...that is just absolutely ridiculous.
It is a bad thing for the Blue Jackets, a bad thing for Rick Nash and a bad thing for the NHL, but Nash will continue to seemingly rot in Columbus next season.