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Who wants Rick Nash? Here’s a rumored wish list

Feb 15, 2012, 10:48 AM EDT

Rick Nash Getty Images

After the bombshell dropped yesterday that the Columbus Blue Jackets are listening to offers for Rick Nash followed up by the news that Nash has given GM Scott Howson a list of teams he’d waive his no-movement clause for, everyone is wondering just where he’d want to go.

Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch wrote about the ever-increasingly fascinating situation surrounding Nash and dropped the name of a few teams strongly believed to be on Nash’s list of up to ten teams he’d accept a trade to.

Among the clubs believed to be interested are the New York Rangers, Los Angeles, San Jose, Toronto and Montreal.

The Rangers are reportedly more than interested and the Kings and Maple Leafs being on this list aren’t shocking. Seeing the Sharks and Canadiens is surprising.

Nash had great chemistry with Joe Thornton when they played together in the Olympics as well as in Switzerland during the lockout season in 2004-2005. San Jose would have to find a way to move out a lot of salary to land Nash; Cap Geek shows the Sharks have over $55 million already committed to next year’s payroll.

Montreal is a curious pick because of the tumultuous times there recently thanks to GM Pierre Gauthier being on the hot seat and interim coach Randy Cunneyworth being put through the language wringer.

This is only the start of the swelling Nash trade speculation insanity. Expect more teams with serious interest to become known leading up to the trade deadline on February 27.

  1. 3yardsandacloud - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    How about Detroit? I’m surprised this hasn’t been mentioned. Detroit has some younger talent they can dangle and they are always willing to move draft picks. They also have the cap space for Nash and he’d be an upgrade over Franzen or Bertuzzi (not that either are bad players). Long term, Bert could be done in the near future and you have Lidstrom most likely coming off the books.

    Seems like Detroit should be in this conversation for such a great player

    • east96st - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      Honestly, I think if they trade him to Detroit, Nationwide will be close to empty next season. I already gave up my tickets for next year because of management and ownership and I know a couple of other season ticket holders who have done the same. I don’t think there’s a team more despised by Jackets fans than Detroit. What few CBJ fans are left would view that as huge middle finger to the fans from ownership and ownership has already given the fans quite a few of those over the years. People would walk away in droves.

      • 3yardsandacloud - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        I can understand that aspect of it. Crazier things have happened though. I mean the Blackhawks traded Chelios to Detroit and that is at least as much of a rivalry

    • elvispocomo - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      Detroit has space and would want a player like Nash, but they don’t have a good goalie to send the other way and tend not to give up a lot in trades. That tends to work against them being a trading partner with Columbus, at least for a piece as big as Nash.

      • 3yardsandacloud - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        McCollum is highly ranked in Detroit’s internal system and with the development of Howard, there is less pressure to develop him. He certainly isn’t enough alone; however, along with a 1st round pick and a couple prospects, it may be a deal worth making for Columbus on that end.

        I can understand the outrage that would emanate from Columbus over trading Nash to Detroit, I just don’t know if other teams have the room long-term and the pieces to send back.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:25 PM

        I agree McCallum’s a good prospect for them, but he’s not going to help Columbus right now. I’m not so sure they’re looking for a goalie that’ll help them a few years down the road, they’d prefer someone who could be ready to play NHL games next year.

        Detroit’s pick is going to be at the end of the round, so almost the same as Columbus’ pick for the following round, and won’t be quite as valuable. They don’t have a bunch of can’t miss top 6 forwards or top 4 D prospects, so they might have to give up a good roster player.

  2. east96st - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    3yards – Yes, that’s true, but Chicago had won a few Cups and a ton of playoff games before that trade. They had a history they could fall back on. CBJ went 0-4 in it’s lone playoff appearance against, you guessed it, Detroit. It would really be the final straw for a LOT of Jackets fans. I think if Nash went to Detroit, it would doom the Jackets in Columbus. It’s that bad here. People have had enough. Having Rick come back to Nationwide wearing a Detroit jersey would be too much for people to take.

    • jenkinsc - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      Maybe I’m just reading this wrong, but Chicago never even went to the Finals with Chelios.

      • east96st - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:32 PM

        Yeah, I could have phrased that better. I meant over the entire history of the Blackhawks franchise. Chicago had a history of some success to fall back on. Columbus doesn’t have any history of success. One playoff series in 11 years and it was a clean sweep.

  3. lrak76 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Can some sleezey agent tell Mike Illitch Nash is the Prince Fielder of hockey?

  4. thomaspratt - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Question for the fan bases of the teams in the hunt for Nash. Has he done enough for you to merit a nearly $8 million cap hit for the next five seasons?

  5. ptd1983 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    As a Red Wings fan who moved to Columbus and still attends games regularly (because tickets are always cheap and available) I can confirm it is that bad simply because the vast majority of the Blue Jackets’ “fans” have never truly appreciated what they have here, even in a season like this. Columbus has some very devoted fans, but they are very rare and when talking to them at the arena even they agree that it speaks volumes when usually the only sell-outs have been when the Wings come to town and Red Wings fans outnumber Jackets “fans” 2 or 3 to 1 like they have the past two seasons.
    But with that it means that it will be the same situation for the Blue Jackets with or WITHOUT Nash – simply that because OSU dominates the Columbus fan base and 90% of the “Jackets fans” can at best be described as fair-weather fans – no one is going to show up regardless of what jersey Nash is wearing. With that in mind, Nash to Detroit probably makes the MOST SENSE from a business stand-point: at least CBJ could count on people coming to cheer/boo Nash and can expect the usual crowd of Wings fans to fill the seats. Not to mention that a trade with the Wings also makes hockey sense – the Wings have NHL ready players and/or draft picks to trade (as the Wings always complain about they have TOO MANY NHL caliber players and so they have to either make them healthy scratches or keep them in the AHL just because they don’t have room on the NHL roster). The only thing the Wings don’t really have, that Columbus will desperately want, is an NHL ready goalie to replace Mason. The other possible thing that will make Detroit unlikely is that the Wings are going to want to hold on to some of their cap space in order to try and convince Stuart to stay (or his wife to finally move out of San Jose) – but then again the Wings may just replace him with Smith next year (but he might very well be moved if the Wings actually went after Nash). But again, Nash to Detroit actually makes a LOT of sense for both organizations regardless of what fair-weather “Jackets fans” may think.

    • east96st - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      Let’s see 1) season ticket holder for five years since arriving in Columbus 2) Attended every Hockeyfest,when they had them 3) My son was Stick kid of the game twice 4) Attend the Black Tie, Blue Jackets fundraiser every year. Yep, that’s sounds like a “fair weather” fan to me. Thanks for setting me straight ptd1983. Nothing means more to me than the opinion of a guy who attends 3 or 4 games a year while wearing the opponent’s jersey.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        You’d have to agree that, while there is a small but loyal fan base in Columbus, the majority of people who’d be willing to attend a game aren’t particularly devoted to following the team.

        I heard a story about a fan in Columbus who couldn’t make the game one night so dropped by their local sports pub to give to the bartender to give away. No one claimed them, and only once a few free beers were included in the deal, did anyone step up.

        It’s the same story as Atlanta and Phoenix, and certainly other cities have had their issues but rebounded, but Columbus’ fan base isn’t particularly strong volume-wise.

      • ptd1983 - Feb 15, 2012 at 8:44 PM

        Did I target you as a “fair weather fan,” east96st? I’m pretty sure I never singled you out, nor tried to “set [you] straight.” If you bothered to actually read the points I tried to make about how Nash would affect attendance, I agreed with you that it was “that bad” and that attendance would dwindle if Nash left. I simply added to that argument that the reality is that it doesn’t matter if he stays because so many people in Columbus are “fair weather fans” and do not appreciate the team in the first place – again I never singled you out as one: so unless you were saying that you’d drop your season tickets if the Wings got Nash, you took offense for no reason. But my guess is that you didn’t make it past “Red Wings fan” without assuming I was attacking you rather than offering a debate about hockey and trade scenarios – and, like I would say most of the fair-weather fans in Columbus you distance yourself from, you apparently assume I only go to games when the Wings are in town, which is, honestly an ignorant assumption. But if you measure your devotion to a team by how much money you spend, that’s fine, good for you. But I wasn’t trying to debate who does what or pays for what. I certainly don’t live and die with the Jackets – I simply love hockey, I’ve enjoyed going downtown and watching the Jackets play whoever when I have the time for the last 9 years, and I am well aware of the “fan” situation at Nationwide and can only shake my head that, as even you pointed out, this team does not have a more devoted fan base. But the fact that when the Wings are in town I wear a Wings’ jersey was not the actual point I was trying to make which was why Nash to Detroit could make sense, but would still be unlikely.

  6. IainRWB - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    I’d wonder, if I were looking at that list as an interested party, why none of CBJs divisional opponents are rumoured to have interest. They’re the teams who plan for him most often, after all.

  7. thewingwheel - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Detroit do things right. They will not except a player who makes more money than Listrom and the euro twins.
    They are very professional. But have a family mentality. I can’t see him going to Detriot but I think LA would be great. U

  8. bcisleman - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    None of these teams really make sense from CLB’s POV. The closest is LA because of Bernier, but their asset pool isnt what it was. None of the others have the elite goalie or goalie prospect CLB needs. FLA or STL would be better matches.

  9. modcoop - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Please let me know who saw this list. “It is believed.” Well that is telling.

    Here, let me call the Psychic Friends Hotline, maybe they can tell me who was on the list.

    Among the teams interested well that would probably be everyone excluding Columbus.

    Of course New York, Toronto, Montreal, are on that list, when aren’t NY/MTL/TOR when aren’t they “rumored” to be? Just for the hell of it San Jose also because 2 years ago, Nash had good chemistry with Joe Thornton.

    Hell call up Rick’s pee-wee line mates up, they had good chemistry with him also.

    You are making a guess.

    When is the TMZ hysteria going to stop, and real reporting based on interviewing, investigation, research going to start?

    Hey I heard the KHL is also interested in Nash also.

  10. cup0pizza - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Columbus wants a franchise goalie in the deal….hello, Dallas. The jackets could have Jack Campbell is goal for seasons, while Nash becomes the man in Dallas. They have the room for Nash, too. Go Stars!

  11. east96st - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    elvis – The site wouldn’t allow me to reply directly to your post, so I’m answering you down here. Is there a problem with the fan base? Yep. No doubt. OSU will always be first in the hearts of the majority of Columbus. But the Jackets had extremely strong support for a very long time. Management has absolutely pounded the fans. I won’t bore you with the all the details but to say as a ticket holder you get treated like crap would be an exaggeration on the upside. Ticket reps don’t return your calls. They are rude, fail to follow thru on the simplest requests, and act like they are doing you a huge favor by taking your money. Look at the track record of management. Nash was the only first rounder that worked out. I won’t count the last two drafts because those guys could still become good players, but the rest either bombed out or were traded away. The President, Mike Priest, had NO hockey experience prior to getting the job. He was the owner’s stockbroker. The GM is a buffoon and the only reason trading Nash MAY work out is the League forced the Jackets to hire Patrick. If he wasn’t there, I guarantee Howson would blow this. Howson may still blow it if Priest overrules Patrick.The sad thing is I could list a dozen or more examples. After 11 years of alienating the community, you cannot expect the city to be excited anymore. It’s become painfully clear, the only message ownership will listen to is the sound of an empty arena. Everything else that was tried failed.

    • elvispocomo - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      Oh, I’m aware of a number of the situations that caused it, but you can’t argue that it’s there. Is it something that would trun around enough to make a significantly strong fan base to the point where you’d see consecutive sellouts if the team did become a true contender?

      I lived through the Canucks poor seasons in the 80′s when the on ice product had trouble winning and deals like Neely for Dennis Pederson didn’t help much either. There where still a fair amount of fans because it’s a hockey market, but there weren’t a lot interested in paying to see games.

      It wasn’t until the team drafted Trevor Linden and started to turn it around (McLean, Bure, Odjick, Lumme, etc) that the support really came out, but we didn’t have quite the level of issues Columbus does now.

      • east96st - Feb 15, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        There were consecutive sellouts as recently as 2009. Honestly, the Jackets front office has burned a lot of bridges. If they were competitive, some people would come back immediately. But to really get 100% full support, a change in ownership or the ownership acknowledging that they took the fans for granted and cleaning out the front office from the ticket reps up to the President would be needed. Keep in mind, they are the worse team in hockey and they are still averaging close to 15,000 per home game. Nationwide holds 18.500. That’s not great, granted, but it’s still better than Anaheim, Dallas, Phoenix, and the Islanders. And they all have a larger fan base to pull from.

  12. danphipps01 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    You know, San Jose could swing it. They’ve got a triheaded goaltending situation, all of whom are clear upgrades over the utter disgrace that is everything between Columbus’ pipes. They’ve got a good stock of forwards, though I figure Clowe or Pavelski would pretty well be a given in any potential package. They’ve got good defensive and goaltending prospects in their system, so they could give Columbus a couple of pieces for future development too. The trick is clearing salary. They’d love to be free of Havlat’s contract, I’m sure, but even Howson can’t be THAT stupid.

  13. judahbenhur - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    The Kings desperately need Nash and could be paired with Mike Richards. They can offer quite a package of young players. Everything from Bernier in goal, to a variety of future top 4 defensemen, and even young scorers. And the Kings would have the cap space to make it work.

    • crazemastercraze - Feb 15, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      it really does make the most sense, i agree

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:07 AM

      Who’s gonna guarantee that Bernier isn’t Steve Mason 2.0 without the Calder?

  14. nsmiff87 - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    I hope Nash gets traded, he is on such a terrible team lol

  15. crazemastercraze - Feb 15, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    NYR or Habs? don’t believe it. BJ’s best options is to make a deal with LA or Vancouver and take a chance on Schnider or Bernier with some picks and/or prospects thrown in. LA makes more sense because of the HUGE disappointment that is Dustin Penner.

  16. cmb79 - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    I would love the Habs to get him, but unless they can clear the cap space by shipping off a bad contract or two (GOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), there’s no way they can grab him.

  17. doublea07 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Obviously the Habs will buy Gomez’s contract at the end of the season, throwing 6 millions in the trash so to speak, but there is no other option, you can’t keep a player that make 7 million a year and play like the worst garage league player. Gomez has to go in order for this team to evolve. I’d like to see a player like Nash in team, the habs are just a few player short of becoming a team they once were.

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