Nash to become a Ranger.

TSN’S Darren Dreger reports via Twitter Columbus Blue Jackets winger Rick Nash is in the process of being traded to the New York Rangers. Expected to involved multiple players. Details to follow.

Dreger reports forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, prospect defenseman Tim Erixon, and a first round pick are headed to Columbus.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch also reports the Blue Jackets are also including a third round pick in 2013 and a minor league defenseman in the deal to the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to Corey Poulton for the heads-up on this trade. I was enjoying a siesta in the midst of a family vacation when he called me about this. Looks like Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson finally realized he wasn’t going to get a better offer from the Rangers, or anyone else for that matter, and rather than let this thing drag out, agreed to do the deal.

It’s not a great return for Nash, but it’s not horrible either. Dubinsky and Anisimov are two  young NHL forwards with upside (which Howson wanted), Erixon is a promising blueline prospect, plus the Jackets get an extra first round pick they can use for themselves or possibly peddle elsewhere in another deal if required. No, it doesn’t replace the star power of Nash, but at this point, there was nothing out there in any offers Howson was getting that was going to do that. Nash wanted out, things had dragged on for months, the market wasn’t getting better, and the Rangers were the only team they could deal with.

The Rangers, meanwhile, had to do something after the Philadelphia Flyers – their division rivals – signed Nashville defenseman Shea Weber. This move should provide them with a significant boost to their offense, as he can play right and left wing, so we’ll probably see a Nash-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik first line. It’s natural to assume this also means they’re out of the running for Shane Doan, but Larry Brooks of the NY Post reported Sunday Sather’s blueprint for next season includes Nash and Doan. We’ll see if this move might sway the latter to sign with the Rangers if he decides to leave the Phoenix Coyotes.