NHL Rumors: Latest Trade News on Columbus Blue Jackets Star Rick Nash
A 28-year-old forward who averages over 30 goals per season and is signed past this season, yet he’s still on the trade market?
Whichever team trades for Nash will be acquiring a player who finished last season tied for 10th in the Western Conference in goals scored.
But which team will make Columbus an offer that finally takes Nash off the trade market?
Here is the latest trade news on the Blue Jackets star.
Have They Waited Too Long?
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The NHL is about to enter a crucial point in its talks for a new CBA as next season draws closer.
However, as Aaron Portzline recently wrote on the Puck-Rakers blog on bluejacketsxtra.com, the Blue Jackets' decision to wait on trading Nash could soon prove to be a bad move.
According to Portzline’s article, out of Nash’s short list of teams of whom he’d accept a trade to—the Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins—only the Red Wings and Rangers may have a solid amount of cap room left if the league’s salary cap is lowered under a new CBA.
Out of these six teams, Nash’s 30 goals last season would have led both the Red Wings and Bruins during the regular season.
However, Nash’s availability shows that neither team has enticed the Blue Jackets enough to make a trade.
Although they have a 28-year-old who has scored 289 goals during his career, the Blue Jackets may see fewer deals as possibilities.
NHL Forwards, Please
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If and when the Blue Jackets trade Nash, what exactly will they be looking for in return?
According to a recent article on TSN.ca, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson told Gino Reda that forward will be the position they’ll target.
“If we do complete a trade, we’re trading out a 30 to 40 goal scorer,” said Howson. “Defence is probably the strongest part of our team if we look at it today, so we’re looking to get some NHL forwards back first and foremost.”
After Nash, no Blue Jackets player besides R.J. Umberger scored at least 20 goals last season, and no winger besides Derek Dorsett scored more than 10 goals.
If Nash were to be traded, the Blue Jackets would also be left with just one player in Vinny Prospal who had over 50 points last season.
Potential Trade Acquisitions
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In an article on TheFourthPeriod.com, three players are given as potential trade acquisitions by the Blue Jackets for Nash.
According to the article, Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks, Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers and David Krejci of the Boston Bruins could head to the Blue Jackets in deals for Nash.
In 82 games with the Sharks last season, Pavelski tied for the team lead with 31 goals, and added 30 assists. The 28-year-old center has played all six of his NHL seasons with the Sharks.
Stepan recorded 17 goals in 82 games for the Rangers, and also added 34 assists. The 22-year-old center had eight assists in 20 postseason games.
Krejci had 23 goals in 79 games for the Bruins, the highest goal total of any season in his career. The 26-year-old center also had 39 assists, his fourth-consecutive season with at least 35 assists.
Each of these players would have finished among the Blue Jackets' best in both goals and assists last season.
What If Nash Isn't Traded?
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After all of the speculation, is there a chance that Nash isn’t traded?
According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch on bluejacketsxtra.com, Nash can either report to training camp prior to the start of the season, or holdout and be fined $27,636.36 per each missed day.
As Portzline goes on to write, if Nash were to suffer an injury in camp it would even further hurt his chances of being traded.
Nash has been on the trade market for some time. Rather than waiting to find the right deal, the Blue Jackets may soon find themselves with a limited number of choices.
At 674 games played for the franchise, Nash’s time with the Blue Jackets may continue past the offseason.