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Brooks: Next two Rangers games could impact Nash trade

Feb 23, 2012, 10:55 AM EDT

Rick Nash Getty Images

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes the two games the Rangers play between now and Monday’s trade deadline – Friday on Long Island and Saturday versus the Sabres – could have an impact on their desire to acquire Rick Nash from Columbus.

Brooks argues that, given the Rangers’ offensive struggles lately, GM Glen Sather might be more willing to sweeten the pot if he doesn’t see an improvement. And while I don’t buy that argument myself (Sather knows what he’s got; two games won’t change his perception; and it’s not like they’re getting killed), Brooks does pass on the following information:

Sources familiar with the parameters of the discussions between Sather and Columbus counterpart Scott Howson have told The Post the Rangers have designated Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, 2009 first-rounder Chris Kreider and 2011 first-rounder J.T. Miller as untouchables when the Blue Jackets requested their inclusion in the package for Nash, the 27-year-old power winger who is being dangled to deep-pocket contenders.

It is believed that Sather, who is not fazed by the ramifications of adding Nash’s contract that runs through 2017-18 at a cap hit of $7.8 million per year, is prepared to send Brandon Dubinsky, Christian Thomas, and perhaps 2010 first-rounder Dylan McIlrath plus a first round pick to Columbus in order to bring the 6-foot-4, 220-pound, nine-year veteran to Broadway.

Sather has been unwilling to include promising 20-year-old defenseman Tim Erixon — who could be a call-up for the playoffs — in the package going to the Blue Jackets, though Howson has expressed interest in the rookie North American pro.

If I’m Howson, I’d want more promising prospects than McIlrath (a big, tough defenseman, but with limited offensive upside) and Thomas (a top scorer in the OHL, but undersized). If those are the only two Sather’s willing to give up, I doubt Nash goes to the Rangers prior to the deadline.

  1. cruuuzcontrol - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    I hope Slats rips this dude off. I’m not entirely convinced Nash makes the Rangers Cup favorites. And I’m more worried about cap consequences of bringing Nash in over chemistry concerns. But the Rangers need more offensive threats and I won’t blame Slats for pushing his chips to the center of the table if he can play Howson like a fiddle.

  2. broadstbully33 - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    if all of ny top prospects are untouchable why is howson even talking to them? dubinski is a 3rd liner at best…and he is the cornerstone of the trade?how does howson have a job

    • stakex - Feb 23, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      Dubinsky has the potential to be a 1st/2nd line winger… hes just having a really bad season. Last year he scored 24 goals and 54 points, which are solid 2nd line numbers, perhaps even first line on some teams.

  3. shanehockey28 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    I seriously doubt Howson considers that offer at all…Im betting Howson would prefer to deal with LA but Nash doesnt want to go there. Which means Jackets dont have many options and their will return may not be what they had envisioned. I think he should just keep Nash, get rid of Carter and hope for a better season next year.They should have the #1 spot which will only help for the future.

  4. east96st - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    They should have the #1 spot which will only help for the future.

    Any other team, that would be true. Jackets can’t draft. It’s one of the primary reasons they are awful. Teams shouldn’t be afraid to throw draft picks at Columbus. The more picks the Jackets have, the more busts they weed out of the draft for the other teams. In fact, Columbus could earn some really nice money if they hired their front office out to the other teams. Any GM could pay a fee and call up and ask the Jackets who they think will be a star. Then, that GM could avoid that player like the plague. Or, if a team is trying to decide between two players, you call Columbus, ask which one of the two they like, and then pick the other one. Guaranteed draft success.

  5. hanktheking - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Its nice to see that Slats isn’t dangling Krieder, McD or MDZ. These are all the future of this franchise. And to the poster who asked how does Howson have a job, you’r really asking this question now? After dude pulled the Jeff Carter deal, threw James Wisnewski a boatload of money, ranted wildly on his personal blog and is now dangling the face of the franchise? He should have been out of a job a looooooong time ago.

    My money says Nash goes to LA because they are terribly desperate for goal scoring and they have Bernier to dangle which will definitely sweeten the pot.

  6. 2qswing - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    If Howsen trades with NY with all those players off the table, he should be fired within an hour. Dubinsky? Paleese.
    He already gave away Vermette for a 2nd, 5th and a goaltender( on IR now plus a UFA at years end) who will never play for the Jackets.

  7. federovs4skn - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    did anyone watch the 2007 world series of poker? what a matchup against tommy dreamer and popeye the sailor man. it was a show down of the 2 finest sexually active robots in this years generation of liver. dreamer flopped an alphabet on the twice drawn cooler but popeye pulled it out with an ace of base. i suppose he saw the sign. anywho my ducks are hungry and i have to go scrape my knee

  8. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Is that seriously the offer NY has on the table? If Sather wants to insult Howson’s intelligence like that he should just offer Avery and a bag of pucks.

  9. uscthom78 - Feb 23, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    If what brooksie says its true, slats in intentionally trying to rip CBJ…….any of slats trade offers are probably more offensive that if CBJ offered mason for Callahan.

  10. stakex - Feb 23, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    I think far too many people are over estimating Nash’s value. While the Rangers offer might be a bit low, its certainly in the ball park for what Nash is actually worth.

    A couple facts to consider:

    1. Rick Nash is on pace for less then 60 points this season, and has not scored more then 67 the past two seasons. Despite scoring 79 points in 08-09 he seems to be settleing into a 60-65 point zone. Good numbers, but certainly not great.

    2. Considering Nash’s career stats, hes not one of the top players in the NHL. Hell, hes probably outside the top 30… and is currently ranked 61st in scoring this season.

    3. Nash’s contract is a negative for Columbus in the trade. As a 60-65 point a year player, hes not worth $7.8 million a year… and any team willing to take on that contract given its length is doing Columbus a favor.

    ———–

    When you look at it like that, the Rangers offer isn’t really that insulting at all. While Dubinsky is having an off year, hes still a solid work horse of a player that is good for a solid 45+ points a year. Obviously hes not heads up with Nash, but thats why the Rangers are also offering a 1st round pick and a couple solid (if not great) prospects. Its a fair offer for a good, but not great player like Nash. Columbus might want a lot more for their franchise player, but I really fail to see any team willing to make a much better offer.

  11. federovs4skn - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    “the franchise” is the best sports team that ever existed. between lemieux, crosby, francis, ulfy, stevens, jagr, malkin, barrasso, fluery, letang, kovy, errey, coffey, endicott, hrdina, rechinball, wregget, staal, orpik, tochett, mullen, murphy, welsh, barnaby, lerioux, GODARD, larauque, craig t adams, park, whitney, straka, kaspiritus, engelland, caufield, nut bustin dustin jeffreys, cooke, neal, kunitz, scuderi, eaton, malone, roberts, borque, trottier, peck, shell, jennings, taglianetti, lang, theres no comparission that the greatness that spews out of this franchise is irresistable. come to the light side my friends.

  12. prettjr - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Nash is not needed on this team.the chemistry on the rangers should not be messed with

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