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Ferraro on Nash: “I don’t think Pittsburgh is a great fit”

Jul 9, 2012, 12:53 PM EDT

Rick Nash Getty Images

In looking at Rick Nash‘s rumored “approved” list for a trade — Boston, Detroit, New York (Rangers), Philadelphia, San Jose and Pittsburgh — one thing stands out:

All those teams have great depth at center.

When it comes to talented centers, Pittsburgh has the most talented in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin — which might be why Nash wouldn’t fit in the ‘Burgh, according to TSN analyst Ray Ferraro.

From Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch:

“I don’t think Pittsburgh is a great fit,” Ferraro said. “I mean, he’d probably score 8-10 more goals than he does now, but I just don’t think his game is a match with (Sidney) Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin.

“Crosby and Malkin both need the puck to be successful. Nash’s game — the way to describe him — is he’s size with the puck. He needs the puck to be successful. He lugs it to the net. He drives the net with the puck, not so much without. Well, if Crosby and Malkin need the puck, and now you’re bringing a third guy in who needs the puck … I don’t know. There’s only one puck.”

It’s an interesting theory to say the least.

Many feel Nash’s frustration partly stems from Columbus’ continued inability to land a high-profile center. It could be said Nash’s best-ever centermen with the Blue Jackets were Andrew Cassels and Manny Malhotra.

That said, Nash did score 41 goals playing with Cassels. Perhaps this kind of center — one that knows to defer to his All-Star winger — is what Nash really needs.

  1. danaking - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    The real question in regard to Pittsburgh is, who would Columbus want in return? It’s not worth it if too many pieces have to be given up to get him.

    • mclovinhockey - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      most likely it would be a few of their D prospects, Kunitz, Kennedy…. well prob need to add another piece or so since the jackets GM wants everything possible.

  2. tmoore4075 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Detroit or New York are probably the best fits in terms of playing. Datsyuk or Richards with him?

    The thing though is what will any team have to give up to get him.

  3. dat1ravens1fan - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    with that theory, the rangers aren’t a good fit either..

    • dhawks19 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      No Richards is known for his passing he has a lot more assists than goals

      • chadc84 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        and richards/steppan is not crosby/malkin

      • chadc84 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        and richards/stepan is not crosby/malkin

  4. sjsharks66 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    If Nash was playing next to a healthy Crosby all year he would probably rack up 15+ goals than he usually does. Look at how Crosby made Cooke perform.

    • kitshky - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Ferraro’s point is that Nash isn’t Cooke … he’s a stud who wants the puck as much as Crosby does. He’s not saying either one of them aren’t great players.

      He’s just saying an ideal situation is for Crosby to have an All Star winger who wants the puck once theyre in the zone or in shooting positions, and Nash to have an All Star centre who prefers to move the puck thru the neutral zone.

      • stakex - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        Thats exactlly it, and it makes a ton of sense. You can’t have two guys who love to carry the puck playing together on the same line and expect everyone to be happy.

        Crosby needs guys playing with him that like to get open and wait for the pass. Thats not Nash at all.

  5. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Ray Ferraro has been pretty good on camera since his playing days, but if he is guilty of one thing, it is overthinking. Which he is doing on this topic.

  6. capesouth - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Ferraro annoys me…i dont know why..

  7. myspaceyourface - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Players adjust their game all the time. Look at the NBA champs. 3 guys who always need the ball in their hands. Now they share and win a championship. Just saying.

  8. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    I’ll go ahead and take the obvious Howson cheap shot here. Of course Nash isn’t a great fit in Pittsburgh. Howson most likely wants Crosby, Fluery, Malkin, Neal, and next years #1 pick.

  9. respectsoupcansthickstick - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    the franchise doesnt want nor.l do we need nash doan semin ryan or any of those players. We already have 3 people on the team that scores more than 40 goals as it is. lets not get greedy here soup can army. CHAMPIONS

    • stakex - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM

      Weren’t you the guy who was damn sure Parise was going to the Pens and had such a hard on about it?

      Side Note: Champions don’t get blown out in the first round.

  10. dkphilly1122 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Nash isn’t a good fit anywhere for the price Howson is asking. He’ll end up not even getting traded until the trade deadline, or Howson reduces his asking price before the season starts. He wants a Kings Ransom for Nash, who I love as a player, but he’s not worth what he wants back in return. I’d love him with Giroux, but no way would I give Couturier or Schenn or both up for Nash. As no team should give up a young NHL ready stud for an older Nash with a massive cap hit.

  11. east96st - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Actually, personality wise, Pittsburgh is the best fit for him. He’s a quiet guy who avoids the spotlight. You can pull that off in Pittsburgh because the cameras are always going to flock to Sid. Rick ain’t going to be a happy in a big and/or hockey crazy market. He’s spent his whole career in a one newspaper town where he can walk down the street in broad daylight and all he’ll hear is “Hey, Rick! How ya doing?”. How’s he going to adjust to NY or Philly?

  12. rsl22 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I don’t like Pitt at all, and really dislike Crosby…but RF is off on this one. Nash would put up huge numbers, Crosby would have 75 assists with someone that could actually play.

    Also, didn’t they play together at the Olympics?

    • rsl22 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      And giving up 1st round picks to CBJ shouldn’t be a problem either; Pitt sucks at drafting if they have to pick outside of the top 5, so not likely to be taking any future roster players away from them by trading away some picks.

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Joe Morrow, Simon Despres, Matt Moulson, and Rob Scuderi would like a word with you.

        Also Ollie Matta will like a word with you come 2015.

      • rsl22 - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:21 PM

        Where to begin….

        First, by mentioning Ollie Matta, it’s almost like you’re admitting Derrick Pouliot was a terrible pick.

        Second, out of the last three drafts, you picked out one guy that has played in the NHL, for all of 18 games. Far from a sure thing for Despres; I wouldn’t get too excited about a French-Canadian defenseman. And Joe Morrow, another guy that hasn’t yet played in the NHL.

        Third, Letang was 2005, seven years ago. You found one legit player out of the past seven drafts?

        Fourth, Moulson was 10 years ago. And he never signed with the Penguins.

        Fifth, Scuderi was 14 years ago.

        Sixth, Orpik was 12 years ago.

        So what you’re saying is you went back through 14 drafts, found seven guys, and outside of Letang, three of them never played for the Penguins, one guy has played all of 18 games, and then Scuderi and Orpik, neither of whom will ever be considered All-Stars.

        As far as Letang, blind squirrel finds a nut…

  13. respectsoupcansthickstick - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    our hero soup can sid had 84 assists when he terrorized the league with 120 points 06-07. Rick nash wasnt on his line either. we dont need him to destroy the nhl. WE BELIEVE

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      Nothing like going back 5 years to pick stats, Jason Blake had 40 goals that year, Jonathon Cheechoo had 37, what do any of those 3 stats have to do with present time? Nothing!

  14. sergeikremlin - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    James Neal sure looked good beside Malkin, and he’s a poor man’s Nash imo. Ferraro knows his hockey, but Crosby and Malkin are both elite set-up men and Nash is an elite trigger man. Simple as that.

  15. charleslouis99 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    *olli maata

  16. ray2013 - Jul 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I never watched Nash too much when he played with Canada during the 2010 Olympics, but now I kind of wish I did to answer one question: does he carry the puck so much because he wants to or because he has to? Some players are like black holes, give them the puck and you never see it again, but to be fair to Nash, it’s not like he’s had a lot of help in Columbus.

    If Andrew Cassels is the best center you’ve played with, don’t you think as a matter of necessity, Nash needs to carry the puck? On a team with a legitimate all-star center (which is all the teams on his list), wouldn’t he be able to play off the puck a lot more?

    • east96st - Jul 9, 2012 at 7:48 PM

      “does he carry the puck so much because he wants to or because he has to?”

      As a former season ticket holder, I can verify that he absolutely has to. There have been far too many games where the only times the puck crossed the blue line was when Rick brought it across or someone else on the Jackets dumped it in. It’s sad and pathetic to watch.

      • ray2013 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:00 AM

        That’s really rough, but it also kind of makes Ferraro’s comments seem out of whack. If he’s the only one with skill to bring it across the blue line, then he’d have to carry the puck a lot out of necessity, but it doesn’t necessarily mean if he were to play with Crosby, Malkin or one of the other top centers on teams he would need to carry as much. Thanks for the info, east.

    • Brian - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:25 PM

      Cassels was actually a pretty good playmaker. Very adept at hitting the man in stride with a pass on the tape. From that perspective I see what Ferraro is saying here. That kind of centre is what’s worked well for Nash in the past, and that’s not really Crosby’s game. In the past with team canada Nash has tended to work best with other players with size and playmaking talent. Stylistically the best fit is probably Joe Thornton and San Jose. Not a Sharks fan, just saying.

      • ray2013 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:03 AM

        That’s also an interesting point. But I’d think Nash has enough talent to make it work, either with Crosby or Malkin, were a trade to be made.

  17. letangusespertplus - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:18 AM

    this dude is a bum. would only get 4th line minutes if Craig Harvard Adams wanted to read a book.

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