The latest MSM trade speculation regarding Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash. Enjoy!
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports many NHL executives he’s spoken with doubt the Blue Jackets find a suitable trade partner for Rick Nash by the trade deadline, citing the Jackets astronomical asking price of an impact player, two top prospects and a first round pick. The LA Kings appear a popular target, but one popular theory has the Kings landing Jeff Carter, if not Nash. Francis dismissed the notion of the Flyers as a trade target, pointing out their obvious need to improve their defensive game. He also claimed “there’s no proof of a list of teams he’d waive his no-trade clause to go to that Nash reportedly gave Howson, although many believe he simply wants to stay in the east.” It’s believed the Blue Jackets stand a better chance of moving Nash in the off-season.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/NEW YORK POST/NORTHJERSEY.COM: Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky has been rumored part of the return the Rangers would have to send the Blue Jackets to acquire Rick Nash, but Dubinsky claims he’s not bothered by the speculation, adding he doesn’t want to leave the Rangers.
TSN’s Darren Dreger recently tweeted the price for Nash was too high (for the moment) for the Philadelphia Flyers. “JVR,Bobrovski, Schenn or Couturier believed to be part of asking price.”
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont compared the Blue Jackets situation with Nash to that of the Bruins when they dealt away star Joe Thornton. He also speculated about the return the usual suspects (Boston, Vancouver, Toronto, Rangers) might have to part with to land Nash, but suggested the St. Louis Blues could be an outlier, as they have depth in goaltending (Halak and Elliott) which could interest the Blue Jackets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m in the camp which believes the Blue Jackets best chance to move Nash is in the off-season, around the June Entry Draft. I think it would be foolish of Rangers management to pursue Nash at this time, given the Rangers are dominating the Eastern Conference standings. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I also believe it would be folly on the Flyers part to chase him. Overloading with scoring wingers won’t resolve their defensive and goaltending issues. Forget about the Blues making a pitch for Nash this season, as their ownership situation has not been sorted out and the club is operating on a tight budget. Maybe in the off-season, when their new owner is in place, they might consider it. Not now.
I think the Kings might be the only real destination available to the Blue Jackets at this time, given their woeful offensive production, but we don’t know if Nash would approve a trade there, or if the Jackets will get the kind of return they seek from the Kings. The Leafs could get into it, as they’re currently in danger of falling out of the playoff race, but that would mean a significant shake-up, which might have more risk than reward at this time of the year.