Good things come to those who wait.
Rangers GM Glen Sather showed great patience, resolve and cunning by acquiring Rick Nash via trade for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first-round pick.
This is long-awaited and great news for Rangers fans, who have been teased with the possibility of Nash since 2011. Well, tease us no more because Sather held firm and got his guy at his price.
TSN’s Darren Dreger first broke the news of the trade and also reported that the deal, as is, would have been agreed to back at the trade deadline and at the draft, indicating that Columbus GM Scott Howson reduced his demands for Nash. So, while Rangers fans should be elated by the persistence and patience displayed by their management in getting Nash, Blue Jackets fans have every right to question the way Howson created an 18-month trade market for his own player, then sold low on him.
Regardless of the self-inflicted wounds in Columbus, the Rangers are the happy benefactors of the five-time All-Star. Nash's soft hands and ability to score will be needed in the Rangers offense because leading goal-scorer Marian Gaborik will not join the team until at least November, due to shoulder surgery.
Now that they have acquired the goal-scorer they need—and without giving up any of their top four defensemen—Sather and the Rangers deserve both applause and expectations of a Stanley Cup victory, or the season will be considered a failure.
Over nine seasons in the NHL, Nash has averaged over 32 goals and 28 assists per season. He averages over 60 points per season and he accomplished this on bad teams (only one playoff appearance), while his name was popping up in every article involving a trade speculation.
The major uncertainty surrounding Nash is his lack of playoff experience. In his nine years as a Blue Jacket, Columbus only made the playoffs once and were swept in the first round by the Red Wings. Four games can hardly be an accurate sample size, but Nash had a goal and two assists in a series where Columbus only scored seven goals.
Nash will continue to face questions and doubters about his ability to deal with the New York media and lead a team to a Stanley Cup, but the Rangers just acquired one of the best forwards in the NHL and a guy that has been craving playoff hockey. Nash will finally have talented linemates and a Vezina Trophy-winning goalie behind him.
The expectations will be sky high, but in this city, things that aren't sky high don't seem to get noticed.