All the latest regarding a possible trade of Rick Nash.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports this could be a big week, perhaps the biggest, in Blue Jackets history. He suggests a Rick Nash trade could happen as early as this Thursday, or during the entry draft weekend, and doubts there’s a “set demand” for all interested teams regarding a return, pointing out their biggest needs are goaltending and scoring. He believes the NY Rangers makes the most sense in terms of return.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts suggests the possibility of a Rick Nash trade occurring after July 1st, when New Jersey Devils pending UFA Zach Parise comes off the market, thus opening up the market by adding those teams which lost out in the bidding for Parise’s services. He adds the LA Kings among those who could be potential suitors, suggesting backup goalie Jonathan Bernier might be of interest to the Jackets. Shoalts doubts Nash would be a good fit for the Maple Leafs.
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan has Nash topping his list of top five players who could be moved this weekend, which also included Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal, Toronto’s Luke Schenn and Chicago’s Patrick Kane. Koshan also believes the Maple Leafs would need more than Nash to become a Cup contender, whereas if Nash went to the Rangers, he could be the final piece of the Cup puzzle for the Blueshirts. Lance Hornby, meanwhile, believes the NY Rangers would part with their first round pick (28th overall) in this year’s draft as part of a return for Nash.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports the Carolina Hurricanes are trying hard to make a deal to land a first line scorer. GM Jim Rutherford wouldn’t confirm it, but it’s believed he’s among the suitors for Nash.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: Kevin Kurz reports the Blue Jackets have been insisting since February that Logan Couture would have to be part of any deal which would ship Nash to the San Jose Sharks, a move which is a non-starter for the Sharks. Kurz believes the Jackets would have to ease their demands if Nash is to be dealt to San Jose.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg for the CSN Bay Area link. A Nash trade could happen this week, at the draft, or after the initial UFA signing frenzy has passed. What we know for sure is the Blue Jackets want to move Nash this summer, and the sooner the better. How soon depends on their asking price and which teams are willing to meet it.I don’t believe the Maple Leafs will land Nash, as they need to address their goaltending and depth at center. The Rangers still seem the best suitor. No way the Sharks part with Couture. One wonders if the Sharks try to pry Jeff Skinner out the Hurricanes, something I doubt Rutherford would accept. As for the Kings, I’m not convinced they have interest in Nash now, if they ever did. It’s rumored they offered Bernier as part of the return for Jeff Carter, but the Blue Jackets declined.