The Nash Ultimatum

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As you recall I wrote a blog last year on why Rick Nash should pull a Carmelo Anthony and force a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets to a contender.

My reasoning is that Nash, who is one of the most physically skilled players in the NHL is wasting away in Columbus and deserves to play for a team that has a shot at a Stanley Cup every year.

In his now nine year career Nash has been to the playoffs once, a four game sweep at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. He’s been through rebuilding project after rebuilding project. He’s gone from number one pick, to Maurice Richard trophy winner, to team captain, to possibly becoming just another good player on a crappy team.

This year the Jackets tried to put some pieces around him to make the team respectable. Their additions of Jeff Carter and Steve Wisniewski we’re supposed to add some fire power to their offense and make the Jackets a playoff contender… It’s been a disaster.

Wisniewski has been out for most of the year with either injuries or suspensions and Carter has been a shell of his former self. The Jackets are last in the NHL looking at another number one pick and another rebuilding process… and it looks like Nash wants no part of it.

What started as rumors is looking like a reality. Nash gave the Jackets a list of teams he would wave his no trade clause to play for if they were going to trade him. That’s the most polite trade demand ever.

He’s had enough, enough rebuilding, enough losing, enough mediocrity. He’ll be 28 in June and doesn’t want to spend the rest if his 8 year contract rebuilding again.

You can tell that this whole process is finally starting to take its toll on him. Nash is on pace for his worst statistical season in his career and at times has looked non-existent on the ice. He needs a fresh start and a chance to succeed and he needs it now.

Now comes the hard part especially for me. Nash’s short list for teams are the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and… The New York Rangers.

As a fan I’m torn. I love Nash, I think he is one of the game’s best players, I would love to have him in our red, white and blue skating alongside Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, however the Rangers don’t really need him.

Sure he could play one of John Torterella’s top two lines and make the Rangers the favorite in the Eastern Conference, but do you know what the Rangers would have to give up to get him?

Columbus would need a quality starter, a top prospect and a pick. If it’s the Rangers were talking about Brandon Dubinsky or Artem Anisimov, then a choice of either JT Miller, Tim Erixon or Chris Kreider and a draft pick. From what organization insiders are saying, those three prospects could become serious contributors and possible all-stars…. Now you see the concern.

Trading Dubinsky would be heart breaking, next to Ryan Callahan he personifies this team’s toughness and heart every time he steps on the ice. I’ve watched Dubinsky since the lockout when he first came up and have loved every second he’s been out on the ice whether it’s scoring goals or fighting Alex Ovechkin or Mike Richards. Letting him go would be like losing a brother to be honest.

The way the Rangers are right now works. They’re a tough defensive minded team that can score enough goals to win games with a goalie that only needs one or two to do so. If we trade for Nash then we lose a little bit of that identity for the sake of a few more goals.

So what’s it gonna be, break up the band for one of the game’s best forwards or stay the course and do what’s gotten you to this point?

Interesting indeed.

There are only 7 days before the trade deadline. Rick Nash is available and could put any contender over the top for the right price.

His time in Columbus looks like its finally coming to its merciful end and he will finally have a chance to play meaningful hockey.

His wish list has been notified, prospects are in place and there is anticipation as to where he’ll end up if he actually gets traded.

One of those teams is my Rangers who are having their best season in years. Nash could either put them over the top or cost us our future. What will the Rangers do?

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