Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Months of flirting are over and the deal was finally consummated, as the Rangers acquired Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and draft picks.
A deal for Nash was rumored at the trade deadline last year, but never materialized. The theory was that Nash was the missing piece, the elite scorer who could provide offense at critical moments.
The Rangers' offense didn't exactly sputter in the playoffs, but they were never able to score at the right time and were never able to capitalize on a multitude of glorious chances.
Well, enter Nash, an elite scorer who can capitalize on those glorious chances. Playing for an awful Columbus team last year, Nash still put up big numbers. He scored 30 goals and added 29 assists.
Many have thought that Nash would really hit his stride when playing with elite talent. That idea does have merit. Nash has excelled with Team Canada in international play, scoring 26 goals and adding 27 assists in only 54 games.
Now, Nash will team up with Brad Richards, one of the very best centers in hockey. Richards will be able to dish the biscuit to Nash and he'll have plenty of opportunities to finish.
The teams that have won the Cup in recent years have had multiple offensive stars. The Los Angeles Kings had Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown. The Boston Bruins had Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The Chicago Blackhawks had Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews.
The Rangers can finally match that. In addition to Nash and Richards, they have Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and more.
This is a team primed for greatness and Nash really is the missing piece. If he delivers as expected, then the team will go a long way.