The New York Rangers just traded three players and a first-round pick to acquire Rick Nash. They were in hot pursuit of him for months. If he were to sign with HC Davos to play hockey while locked out under the given circumstances, it’d be slap in the face of the Rangers.
Conflicting reports have emerged whether or not Nash will indeed play for the club that he called home during the last NHL lockout.
Szymon Szemberg of the IIHF reported that Davos believes Nash plans to play in Switzerland if a lockout goes down. He tweeted:
HC Davos, who last night def CSKA Moscow 3-2, announced that Joe Thornton, Rick Nash will play at HCD if lockout, just as they did in 04-05— Szymon Szemberg (@Sz1909_Szemberg) August 16, 2012
Darren Dreger of TSN then reported that Nash and his agent would lead you to believe otherwise. He tweeted:
Contrary to reports, both Rick Nash and agent Joe Resnick say Rick has no plan to play in Davos if there is a lockout.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) August 16, 2012
And just to confirm the confliction of the reports, Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports tweeted:
Just to be clear: In denying "report", Rick Nash and his agent are calling the chairman of Davos a liar.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 16, 2012
If Nash and his agent are the ones lying, New York should be frustrated.
The Rangers are too close to contending for a Stanley Cup title for the player they just traded for to risk injury on another club. They finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season and were two wins away from a championship berth. Who knows if New York would’ve advanced if it had successfully dealt for Nash at the deadline?
But now it does have him. And the five-time All-Star needs to realize who’s paying his $47.4 million contract.
Nash is talented enough to push the Rangers over the hump. A serious injury in Europe could derail their quest for a title.
And for what? A few extra bucks and something to do during the lockout?
Hopefully for the Rangers’ sake, Nash is thinking big picture and makes the right decision.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.