Rick Nash Trade: Star-Power Winger Always Wanted to End Up with New York Rangers
It goes without saying that Nash joins a long list of star players that has been brought in by the Rangers to give the team a boost, but what makes Nash different is his humility, his desire to be a Ranger and his deep understand of the youth movement Glen Sather and Gordie Clark have been cultivating.
Rick Nash met with the media after the trade went down last week, and there were some interesting quotes that should make fans happy.
When asked about the process of getting here, Nash told the media:
It’s been a real long five months, but I stayed patient, and it turned out the way I wanted it to[...] I didn’t want them to blow up the nucleus of the team and the players that are going to make them good[...] That’s the reason why I wanted to come.
That statement by Nash is key because he realizes that he wouldn't be as effective with the Rangers if he forced Glen Sather to blow up his system just to acquire him.
This is similar to how Brad Richards wouldn't allow the Rangers to blow up their core in a potential deal for him, so he opted to decline moving his NTC at the 2010-11 trade deadline.
With Nash in tow, he will have the opportunity to play with a mix of talented young players and seasoned veterans.
Nash's versatility to play left or right wing would give him the opportunity to play with either Chris Kreider or Carl Hagelin on his opposite wing while being centered by Derek Stepan or Brad Richards.
However, there is more to Nash that makes him an ideal fit with the Rangers. He is a low-key and humble individual who can step back and not carry the burden of being a captain in New York.
He won't be the "man" like he was in Columbus, and he can focus on playing hard two-way hockey and scoring goals.
Ken Hitchcock was once Nash's coach, and he was able to thrive in a system that required players to be defensively responsible. Nash also really wanted to get to New York even while he was a member of the Blue Jackets.
Nash also talked about the time he met the New York media when Columbus came to Madison Square Garden in February just before the deadline. When asked if New York was where he wanted to be, Nash remarked:
Quotes transcribed from this video
It definitely was. I obviously couldn't say it at the time when you interviewed me before the deadline. It is an original six team. I grew up watching them. It has so much history; there is so much respect around it and one of the best cities, and I am so excited to be here, and it is definitely where I wanted to be.
Now that Nash is here and he genuinely wanted to be a key piece of what the Rangers are building, fans will likely wonder if the move be worth it, given his price tag and his career numbers.
There was tons of talk that Nash was simply an overpaid and overrated star who wasn't worth acquiring. These notions were quickly dispelled when Steve Zipay of Newsday was able to talk with former Blue Jackets GM Doug McLean.
Where do you find a 6'4", 235-pound guy with hands, who can skate, is entering his prime with limited miles on him, although every night he was the No. 1 focus, tightly checked, man-on-man, because teams knew if you shut down Rick Nash, you beat Columbus? Now people are telling me he's overrated. Are you serious?
At the end of the day, Rick Nash is a Ranger, he wanted to be a Ranger, and he will be a Ranger for the foreseeable future. He fits the build and mould of this team; he is a a hard worker, and with the supporting cast in New York, he can prove to the NHL that he is an elite goal-scoring winger.
Time will tell how successful this move is, but barring a huge turn around by Brandon Dubinsky and an emergence of Tim Erixon as a superstar defenseman, the Rangers still made out like kings in this trade.
With that said, the Rangers are hoping that by this time next year, they will be celebrating like Kings after a successful Stanley Cup victory.
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