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Trading for Rick Nash is the Wrong Move
The Columbus Blue Jackets have made it known that Rick Nash is available. The rumour out there, is the Jackets are looking for a big return for their franchise player. Any team that jumps into the Rick Nash sweepstakes would be making a mistake.
Edmonton - February 23, 2012 - The Columbus Blue Jackets have made it known that Rick Nash is available. The rumour out there, is the Jackets are looking for a big return for their franchise player. While Nash is a very good player, there is nothing the twenty-seven year old has done that qualifies all the hoopla surrounding his availability. In my mind, the $7.8 million cap hit that comes with Nash and runs through the 2017-18 season, should make him unmovable...unless a poor contract is coming back the other way. That's six more years for a guy that has scored seventy plus points once and has been a point a game player only one time in his nine year NHL career. Those are not the numbers you expect from a player that earns nearly $8 million a year. Any team that jumps into the Rick Nash sweepstakes would be making a mistake.
Apparently, the Blue Jackets are hoping to get three quality players and a 1st rounder for the two time forty goal man and when you consider everything involved, that is far too steep a price. It's one thing for a franchise to go out and sign a player like Nash to a UFA deal and over pay him. It is something completely different to give up assets on top of the money, for a player that has never shown the ability to be "the guy".
Many go on about the fact that he has never had great players to play with, which is fair, but he is far from the only player in this predicament. For his career, Rick Nash is a 0.859 PPG and that makes him at max, a seventy point player. Sure he is nearly a lock to score 30-35 goals a season but is that worth what Columbus is asking? There is a guy named Jarome Iginla who has played with marginal players for years in Calgary and he usually pushes the 90 point barrier and he is nowhere near the prime of his career like Nash. Iginla is a player that many compare the former first overall selection to and I find it almost laughable. Jarome has made players around him better...who exactly has Nash made better?
A comparison that would seem to make more sense, is the Leafs Phil Kessel. The Toronto sharp shooter is a 30-35 goal guy who will get you 65-70 points and he is only twenty-four years old. He is a $5.5 million cap hit and while not as good of an all around player as Nash, does giving up additional assets and paying $2 million plus for a guy like Nash make any sense? I would say no.
Teams that are rumoured to be interested in making a move for the Jackets all time leading scorer are the Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. While a struggling team like the Kings would consider such a move, would it make them any better? If the Kings were to give up say Anze Kopitar, are they any better? If not Kopitar then who? The Jackets would surely ask for the likes of Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson on top of youngsters like Jonathan Bernier and Slava Voynov. How on earth would a trade like that make sense for the Kings?It may improve them slightly today but not enough for the price tag.
The Rangers would be crazy to break up what they currently have going to acquire Nash and the Maple Leafs would likely have to rip apart a lineup that is finally starting to round into form. If Toronto were to make such a move, Nash would be in the exact same situation he currently sits in. A team with no depth and Rick Nash as you best player equals no playoffs. As for the Sharks, they don't have the pieces necessary to make a deal that would interest the Jackets unless they want to include Logan Couture in any deal and they would be crazy to do such a thing.
Don't get me wrong, I think Rick Nash is a helluva a player but he is a complimentary piece and I don't think those types of players should earn the type of money he does. If you have a player like him at the top of your salary list, then your team likely isn't any good and the Blue Jackets are just that. Columbus GM Scott Howson should be asking for the moon in return for his star player but teams would be crazy to meet his asking price.
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