Mark Spector of Sportsnet in Canada tweets that talks between the Rangers and Blue Jackets have picked up and that the latest offer is indeed a whopper.
For the Rangers to land Nash, they’d be giving up one of a pair of young defensemen in either Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto as well as a first-round pick and a prospect, namely defenseman Tim Erixon. Spector says that the Rangers feel that offer bests what the Toronto Maple Leafs could offer Columbus and puts them in the driver’s seat to land Nash.
Considering how well both McDonagh and Del Zotto have played this season for New York, the Jackets would be getting an instant young stud on the blue line. Adding Erixon would give them a potential future star as well. The first round pick makes for a nice throw in given that it’ll be a mid-to-late round pick.
The talk of late from The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline is that Nash’s camp is hoping for a quick resolution to things and they’re growing weary of the process. It doesn’t appear the two sides are long for each other. The Jackets aren’t under pressure to get a deal done at the deadline, but it could turn the summer into an endless array of discussions to land Nash if a deal isn’t done by Monday at 3 p.m.
It already seemed like the Minnesota Wild asked Marek Zidlicky to waive his no-trade clause to go to the New Jersey Devils once this season. That either didn’t totally happen or the two teams couldn’t cross the t’s and dot the … lower-case j’s.
Regardless, it seemed inevitable that the coach-bashing defenseman would end up out of Minnesota, and now Nick Kypreos and Devils beat writer Tom Gulitti are indicating that it could happen for real this time. Kypreos even threw out everyone’s favorite trade deadline buzzword of “imminent,” so it’s time for Devils fans to get excited/depressed depending upon how each one feels about the offensive blueliner.
The natural question of what the Devils will give up hasn’t been cleared up just yet. Kurtis Foster seems like the logical choice because a) Zidlicky downgrades him from “marginal” to “virtually irrelevant” and b) he didn’t dress tonight. That being said, Wild beat writer Michael Russo reports that Foster at least isn’t aware of being shipped.
Update: Foster texted Russo that he has, indeed, been traded. Expect an official post soon that discusses the trade a bit more in hockey terms.
Either way, it seems like Zidlicky will take his easy hockey-hating talents to the Jersey Shore soon enough.
If it falls through again, I’ll never trust the word “imminent” again.
(Or at least not for a few hours.)
Say what you will about Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson – he’s not sitting idly by as the trade deadline approaches. Howson has already loaded up on youth and picks with the Antoine Vermette and Jeff Carter trades, but Aaron Portzline reports that Rick Nash is “still available for [the] right price.”
Really, the only difference is that the Los Angeles Kings are no longer in the running (barring something really bizarre happening).
Plenty of other teams have reportedly shown interest in Nash, with the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks making the biggest waves so far. Just about any contender with some cap space could conceivably get in the bidding, as long as they’re willing to pay the price in terms of assets and Nash’s $7.8 million cap hit.
The Carter trade only solidifies the notion that Nash will come at a significant cost since Columbus received a first-round pick and a talented young defenseman in that swap.
Moving Carter might relax a little bit of the tension for Howson to move Nash by the deadline itself. Much has been made about the off-season potentially being a better time to maximize his trade value since it’s likely that more teams could be in the bidding, but the pressure was really building.
Now Blue Jackets fans might be appeased by the fact that Howson got a nice package for a guy who clearly didn’t want to stay in Columbus.
If nothing else, hockey fans have at least one blockbuster trade to chew on, so this year’s general trade deadline time won’t be a total letdown – even if the day itself ends up being underwhelming.
More on the big Carter-to-LA trade: All sides seem happy with the move.