In looking at Rick Nash’s rumored “approved” list for a trade — Boston, Detroit, New York (Rangers), Philadelphia, San Jose and Pittsburgh — one thing stands out:
All those teams have great depth at center.
When it comes to talented centers, Pittsburgh has the most talented in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin — which might be why Nash wouldn’t fit in the ‘Burgh, according to TSN analyst Ray Ferraro.
“I don’t think Pittsburgh is a great fit,” Ferraro said. “I mean, he’d probably score 8-10 more goals than he does now, but I just don’t think his game is a match with (Sidney) Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin.
“Crosby and Malkin both need the puck to be successful. Nash’s game — the way to describe him — is he’s size with the puck. He needs the puck to be successful. He lugs it to the net. He drives the net with the puck, not so much without. Well, if Crosby and Malkin need the puck, and now you’re bringing a third guy in who needs the puck … I don’t know. There’s only one puck.”
It’s an interesting theory to say the least.
Many feel Nash’s frustration partly stems from Columbus’ continued inability to land a high-profile center. It could be said Nash’s best-ever centermen with the Blue Jackets were Andrew Cassels and Manny Malhotra.
That said, Nash did score 41 goals playing with Cassels. Perhaps this kind of center — one that knows to defer to his All-Star winger — is what Nash really needs.