Report: Jackets shopping Rick Nash; Can the Rangers land him?

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With the trade deadline approaching in less than two weeks and a host of once-thought available players being re-signed, it was felt that the deadline would be a quiet one.

That’s when Renaud Lavoie of RDS in Quebec shook things up by reporting two sources, including a NHL GM, told him that Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash could be had via trade (link is French, English tweet here). After the talk that Jeff Carter is the guy Jackets GM Scott Howson is trying to move the most, this news on Nash is startling.

The next question then is: Who is hottest after Nash? Well the New York Rangers of course. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that sources tell him the Rangers would pony up forward Brandon Dubinsky, top prospect forward Chris Kreider, and a first-round pick as part of a package to get Nash.

The New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard hears from Nash’s agent who won’t comment on any rumors but says that the Blue Jackets have been sending scouts en masse to Rangers games recently including Howson dropping by the Rangers-Flyers game on Saturday in Philly. This could all be a coincidence or there are puzzle pieces being put together.

One curious thing about Garrioch’s report is that the rumored Rangers package doesn’t include a future franchise goaltender, something Columbus would seemingly almost require to get in return for the five-time All-Star. That said, Rangers GM Glen Sather is a master at pulling off heists in trades, but does he have one really big trick up his sleeve to help the Rangers’ push for a Stanley Cup?