Looks like the Rick Nash trade watch is officially on…or is it? Read on for the latest!
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports “NHL sources — from Columbus and beyond — took issue with the suggestion that Nash is “on the block”, but only the terminology. He is not being shopped by the Blue Jackets, they insist, and the club is not intent on moving him, as it is with Jeff Carter and perhaps others.” He adds, however, the Jackets management may have reached the point where they’re ready to consider all options, which includes Nash. He noted until recently the Jackets management wouldn’t consider trading Nash, and while that might still be the case, the next 12 days leading up to the trade deadline could get chaotic. Portzline also interviewed Nash today, and he said “as of right now, he’s a Blue Jacket”. A source claimed Nash has not requested a trade. The club’s front office recently decided to explore the option of trading Nash, and the plan was subsequently present to him and/or his agent.
TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie suggested the Jackets wouldn’t be exploring trade options regarding Nash with the winger’s permission, since Nash has a “no-movement” clause and the ultimate decision if he’ll accept a trade or stay put. It’s believed up to last week Nash wasn’t available but over the weekend the club decided to listen to offers. McKenzie also said that doesn’t necessarily mean Nash is available or will be moved by the trade deadline, though this news does represent a significant shift on management’s part that they’re at least willing to consider the option. Darren Dreger, meanwhile, tweeted the Blue Jackets would insist on young rosters players as prominent pieces of a deal, with Nash making the ultimate decision on his destination.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside discussed potential trade partners, listing the NY Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, LA Kings, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and Philadelphia Flyers as possibile destinations.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reporting Nash provided a list of teams he’d accept being dealt to Blue Jackets management, and it’s believed a very short list.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: Dave Pollak wondered if the Sharks might have interest in Nash.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: To summarize: Until last week, the Blue Jackets had no intention of trading Nash, and his name never came up in trade talks because rival teams knew he wasn’t available. The Jackets management decided over the weekend to consider all options to improve the club, including listening to offers for Nash. He’s not being “shopped”, nor has he demanded a trade, but he has allowed management to at least entertain offers. That’s where we’re at at this point. Again, they’re not actively shopping Nash, only listening to offers, and Nash hasn’t demanded a trade, but is willing to allow management to field offers.
We also know that any rumors of the Blue Jackets trading Nash prior to this week was nonsense, and there weren’t any teams contacting the Blue Jackets prior to this week inquiring into Nash’s availability.
It’s certainly possible Nash could be traded by the trade deadline, but it won’t be easy. The asking price for Nash will be expensive, and the Jackets aren’t going to just accept untested young players, prospects and draft picks in return. They want help for now and the future. That means they’ll want one or two, good, established young players as part of the return.
Don’t forget, Nash carries an average annual cap hit of $7.8 million per season until the end of the 2017-18 season, so that means ensuring you’ve got the cap space, for the remainder of this season and going forward, to comfortably absorb that salary.
Finally, giving up at least two good players for Nash could have an adverse effect upon team chemistry for the club acquiring him. I’m not saying he’s a problem, but rather giving up some depth for him could hurt a team’s depth. If you’re the Rangers, currently dominating the Eastern Conference standings, it might not be wise to make such a significant move which has the potential to upset the strong chemistry that roster presently enjoys.
At the very least, we’ve now got a big name floating in the mill which could make things spicy leading up to the trade deadline, regardless of whether he’s dealt or not.