The San Jose Sharks have long been rumored a front-runner for Rick Nash, including being listed on his approved trade list, but do the pros outweigh the cons in making a massive deal to land the Columbus captain?
There is so much involved in being able to take Rick Nash away from the Columbus Blue Jackets and realistically there is just to much negatives that come with it. Both in the trade itself, and the implications that would come after.
There is no questioning the talent level of Rick Nash—and the skill and production that he would bring to the right wing of the Sharks lineup—but they should just continue with business as usual and stay away.
The Sharks have a good team right now, and here are three reasons that acquiring Rick Nash in a trade would not be a good idea for them.
The big question that teams have to consider when it comes to the idea of acquiring Rick Nash is if they are able to afford the cost that comes from trading for him.
With GM Scott Howson now requesting what looks like two NHL ready forwards—to surly go along with a handful of prospects and draft picks—the cost for Nash is incredibly high.
You would have to expect for the Sharks to be able to land Nash they would have to part ways with young center Logan Couture. While it seems they are not in the position to do so, if they are serious in acquiring Nash then they will have to make this exception.
You lose Couture and you lose the teams only All-Star, as well as one of the leagues best young forwards. Couture last season was able to out produce Nash and put up numbers that rival his best seasons in Columbus. Yes, it is widely considered that Rick Nash would be included in the next tier of players, ahead of Couture, but it may eventually turn out they are the same.
Losing Couture—and another roster player—would mean the Sharks losing their depth at center as well as at another position. No doubt Nash would greatly improve the right side, but at what cost?
The upcoming NHL season is uncertain at the moment, as the current collective bargaining agreement ends on September 15th and a new one has yet to be established by both sides.
While the NHLPA and the owner's still have a lot of work to do, they are trying to establish a medium so the season is not cancelled. The first offer was handed in about a week ago, and included a change to how hockey-related revenue is calculated.
This would mean, most likely, a decrease in the salary cap. While it is unknown if this will actually happen, it is entirely possible. No one will know how much lower it will drop, but for teams such as the Sharks who only have just over $5.5 million in cap space this could affect them in acquiring talent.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch feels that if that was to happen the Sharks may be out of the running for Rick Nash:
"Will the salary cap by lowered by $10 million? It's obviously too early to tell, but that doesn't seem a ridiculous assertion. If so, Nash's cap hit would seem too much to swallow for Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Jose, the four other clubs on his list."
While this is entirely speculative—the dropping of the salary cap—it is entirely possible, and if so, it may mean teams are waiting until a new CBA is completed before venturing too close to the cap right now.
Although it is much better than bringing someone into the team at the trade deadline, picking up someone of Nash's stature still presents the same questions.
How will he perform, and react, to a new style of play? Will he fit in with the guys in the dressing room? There are always more questions than answers when bringing in a new player to a team.
One thing you know for sure about Rick Nash is that he is an amazing hockey player. He should be able to bring the same type of production, or more, if he were to come to San Jose. But with the asking price attached to him, how are other San Jose players going to react when the team trades a huge part of themselves to get him?
Nash was the leader, the go-to guy, in Columbus. In San Jose they are already have Thornton, Marleau and Boyle in that position.
There is no questioning the talent of Rick Nash—and that his talent alone would be a huge benefit to the Sharks and their right wing—but again is it worth it?
To break up a bunch of teammates and sacrifice so much just to be able to land a guy that has never played in the playoffs does not seem like the best idea. The Sharks, of all teams, need a proven playoff winner, and maybe Rick Nash is not the right piece to the puzzle.