With Zach Parise off the market, teams in search of a big-time goal scorer will have to turn their attention to Rick Nash.
The problem is they probably already knew that.
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ 6’4” right wing has been on the trade block for six months, but midway through the summer, Nash is still right where he started.
Simply put, there’s nothing simple about executing a trade for the Blue Jackets star.
A former No. 1 overall pick in 2002, Nash has consistently been one of the league’s best offensive players during his NHL career, scoring 289 goals in 674 games.
However, with the Blue Jackets slipping into the unenviable position of being the NHL’s worst team in 2011-2012, the team may be moving its best player in order to rebuild.
Trading the sharp-shooting lefty won’t be an easy task as Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson has set a high price for Nash’s services.
In his interview with TSN’s Gino Reda, Howson stated that he’s looking to acquire multiple NHL-ready forwards in a swap for Nash:
"He's an elite player, he's been a tremendous ambassador for our franchise and our city and we're very comfortable with the value we've placed on him and until we get that value, we're going to keep working away at it."
Six months after this whole saga began, it doesn’t appear Howson is any closer to finding the right deal for the nine-year veteran.
Should the Blue Jackets move Rick Nash?
Patience may be a virtue, but this situation doesn’t appear to be going anywhere at the moment.
For teams looking to scoop up a solid winger on the free-agent market, Shane Doan would be a good catch.
The 35-year-old doesn’t exactly have youth on his side, but he brings a solid, veteran goal-scoring presence to any team.
In 16 seasons, the 6’1”, 228-pound forward has scored 318 goals while dishing out 470 assists.
After spending his entire career with the Phoenix Coyotes, it looks like Doan’s run in Arizona will be coming to an end.
According to Rob Kelley of Center Ice Chat, Doan reportedly received a four-year, $30 million offer from a mystery team in the Eastern Conference.
Nearing the end of his career, it’d be insane for Doan to turn down that kind of cash.
Alexander Semin, 28, is the top free agent left on the market.
The former Washington Capitals left wing has been a solid offensive threat since entering the league as the 13th overall selection in 2002.
During his seven-year career, the 6’2”, 209-pounder has scored 197 goals and assisted on 211 more, but he's also averaged just 67 games played per season.
According to Shelly Anderson of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Penguins have made an offer to the league’s top remaining free agent, although terms of the deal are not available.
Adding Semin to a lineup that already features Sidney Crosby would be a huge get for Pittsburgh after the team traded Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek this offseason.
Although offense isn’t necessarily Pittsburgh’s biggest need, a duo of Crosby and Semin would be lethal.
It’s not often that a young, talented snipe-shooting former top-five pick is available, but that looks to be the case with Bobby Ryan.
The Anaheim Ducks star has been unhappy with being part of trade rumors, voicing his feelings to the Courier Post in June:
“Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately. Obviously, it's not the ideal situation. When you get drafted, you want to win championships with that team and every time they look to add a piece to the puzzle, I'm the piece going the other way.”
It’s a potentially sad ending to what should have been a promising pairing between team and player, as Ryan has proven himself worthy of being the second overall selection in 2005.
Since becoming a starter in 2006, the 25-year-old has topped the 30-goal mark every year while also dishing out 123 assists.
According to Chris Hogan of CLNSRadio.com, the Boston Bruins could be a trade destination for the disgruntled winger, as the Bruins haven’t been able to find a go-to scorer since trading their own former top-five pick, Phil Kessel, in 2009.
Wherever Ryan eventually ends up, the team that acquires him will be pleased to add a deadly weapon to its arsenal.