Get the latest on possible destinations for Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline on what the Blue Jackets could seek in return for trading Rick Nash. “The Blue Jackets are said to want at least one young roster player along with a combination of top prospects and quality draft picks.” Portzline noted a report in the NY Post claiming the Blue Jackets and NY Rangers have had preliminary discussions. While the Rangers are loaded with young talent, the LA Kings could offer up goalie Jonathan Bernier as part of a return.
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen is puzzled over the Blue Jackets dangling Nash at the trade deadline, believing they could get a better return, especially from from potential Cup contenders, if they shopped him near the June Entry Draft weekend. He believes the Jackets could get offers from up to 20 teams this summer, but considerably less at this time of year.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts looked at potential suitors for Nash, listing the Bruins, Red Wings, Kings, Rangers, Flyers, Sharks, Maple Leafs and Canucks.
BOSTON GLOBE/CSNNE.COM: Fluto Shinzawa and Joe Haggerty weighed in on the possibility of Nash coming to Boston, believing he’d cost too much (Tuukka Rask, prospect defenseman Dougie Hamilton, a first round pick, perhaps David Krejci or Milan Lucic) for the Bruins. There would also be concerns over absorbing his salary and the impact upon team chemistry.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ed Willes notes the Canucks could offer up goalie Cory Schneider as the centerpiece of an offer for Nash, but his $7.8 million per season cap hit is too much to comfortably absorb, considering the Canucks already have a lot of money tied up in the Sedins, Ryan Kesler and Roberto Luongo.
TORONTO SUN/NATIONAL POST/TORONTO STAR: Mike Zeisberger of the Sun believes the Maple Leafs should take a run at acquiring Nash, believing he’s worth the risk in parting with young prospects and players to get him, but Howard Berger counters the Maple Leafs should put more focus upon improving their goaltending. Damien Cox of The Star confirms the Maple Leafs are on Nash’s list of teams he’d accept getting dealt to.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk has contacted the Blue Jackets regarding Nash, but he expects a lot of other GMs have done, or will do, the same thing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen makes a great point, for judging by the reports coming from Boston, Detroit and Vancouver, a number of potential Cup contenders aren’t that keen at taking on Nash and his big contract at this point in the season. The Maple Leafs may be on Nash’s list, but it would be a big role of the dice for GM Brian Burke to pursue him, as he’d be giving up depth elsewhere to land the superstar winger, and he’d do nothing to bolster their goaltending and center depth.
It would be foolish to dismiss the possibility of Nash being moved at the trade deadline, but I believe the Blue Jackets could do better if they wait until the Entry Draft, when there are more teams with cap space, no regular season pressure, and more willingness by clubs to spend on big name talent.