Yeah, the Rangers are still hot after Rick Nash

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Before the trade deadline, the New York Rangers were the team that pushed the hardest for Columbus’ Rick Nash. Offers were exchanged and shot down, and the Rangers hit the wall offensively in the postseason.

Now that the Nash trade derby is open again, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports the Rangers are back in the hunt. There’s just a bit of a catch, however, as Jackets GM Scott Howson may be asking for guys the Rangers won’t dare move.

The question now, as it was in late February — when Columbus GM Scott Howson got greedy and demanded a combination of players including Chris Kreider; Derek Stepan or Carl Hagelin; Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto; plus Brandon Dubinsky and a first-rounder — is what the Jackets will be willing to accept and how much Sather will be willing to yield in return for the 28-year-old winger, whose numbers on the ice have never quite matched the hype attached to him.

Brooks says the whole discussion could end if the Rangers offered up Chris Kreider but there’s a better chance of turning lead into gold than that happening.

It was reported yesterday Columbus’ asking price was for a package around four or five players including roster players and prospects. It’s a stiff price for a guy whose production has slipped in recent years and comes with a $7.8 million cap hit til 2017-18. Is the Rangers’ need for offense so big they’ll take the cap hit and punch to their roster?