NY Rangers: One Player That Will Be Under the Microscope in 2013

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIIJanuary 7, 2013

Rick Nash
Rick NashChristian Petersen/Getty Images

The inevitable finally came true when the New York Rangers acquired Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon and draft picks.

Because of he's the centerpiece of such a high-profile acquisition, Nash will be the one player in the NHL really under the microscope in 2013.

Nash has long been squandered in Columbus, as he has never had an elite center to get him the puck. Despite that, Nash scored 30 goals and had 29 assists last season.

But Nash was brought here for one reason—to help the Rangers win a Stanley Cup. They were oh so close last season, but with an added offensive threat in Nash, they, in theory, should get over the hump.

Which is why Nash is going to be under the microscope this season. If he can't deliver, if he can't live up to the expectations, then fans will begin to question the trade.

After all, the team did give up two core players in Anisimov and Dubinsky. While they aren't the scorers that Nash is, they are grinders, excellent both on the penalty kill and in their own zone, and they have the ability to change games with their energy. Dubinsky, in particular, will be missed for his brashness.

While it may be a lot to heap all these pressure on Nash, it is to be expected when a deal of this magnitude is pulled off. He was brought in to carry the offense and the team to the Stanley Cup. If he doesn't, then a lot of questions will be asked.

Nash's every move will be dissected. If he's not scoring, there will be a forensic analysis done to figure out why. Every fan has been waiting for Nash and now that he's here, they'll be all over him. If he starts the season off slow, then fans won't hesitate in bringing out the boo birds. 

Of course, a slow start will land Nash in Coach John Tortorella's doghouse. He's been known to bench players, and certainly would do the same to Nash if the situation warrants it.

Nash has the talent to excel in New York, and he will finally be playing with elite teammates. He and Brad Richards should make beautiful music together. But if they don't, and if Nash struggles, he will have everyone all over him.

Every move of his is going to be analyzed and, quite simply, Nash has to be ready.