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Do the Rangers need Rick Nash?

Jul 17, 2012, 3:14 PM EDT

Rick Nash Getty Images

It’s already been discussed in the comments section here, but since it’s New York Rangers day on PHT, we have to dedicate an entire post to Rick Nash.

Specifically, should Rangers GM Glen Sather acquire the Blue Jackets’ captain in a trade?

Obviously, the answer depends largely on what Sather has to give up to get Nash. Columbus GM Scott Howson has said repeatedly that the price will be high.

“If we do complete a trade, we’re trading out a 30 to 40 goal scorer,” said Howson. “Defense is probably the strongest part of our team if we look at it today, so we’re looking to get some NHL forwards back first and foremost.”

Howson is also reportedly seeking high-end youngsters, with names like Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan popping up in Rangers-related speculation.

Throw in a first-round pick and you can understand many Rangers’ fans reluctance to support a trade for Nash.

However, it has to be noted that Columbus Dispatch beat writer Aaron Portzline has “been told repeatedly” that Howson has not demanded Kreider, McDonagh or Stepan from Sather.

The Rangers do have other prospects like JT Miller, Tim Erixon and Dylan McIlrath that could form part of a package.

For Sather, it’s a tough decision. On the one hand, he says he doesn’t want to “dismantle the core of our organization. We’ve got a lot of good young kids, and we want to let them grow and develop.”

On the other hand, New York didn’t exactly fill the net in the playoffs and Nash has 272 goals in the last eight seasons — a feat he managed playing alongside a revolving door of mostly mediocre centers. (Suffice to say Brad Richards would be a significant upgrade on any pivot he’s skated with recently in Columbus.)

Nash, 28, has six seasons left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $7.8 million, the fifth highest hit in the NHL.

  1. jacketsfan7 - Jul 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Nope but if they got him they could win the Stanley cup

  2. mclovinhockey - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    They have a large cap but really only need to resign DelZ… Prob will get a 5 year deal worth 6-7 a year.

    I could see them wanting Nash but they may not want to give up the great tools they have.

    • stakex - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      Five year, $6-7 Million for Del Zotto? Not even in the ballpark. He had a good season last year, but hes also had a lot of problems over the last couple years. Hes worth about $4 million right now.

    • letsgonyr94 - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      You guys are both crazy. I’m guessing neither of you are Rangers fans. Look at his stats and MDZ might get 4-5 mill but if you watch him play he should only get about $2mill on a 2 year deal. Maybe $2.5mill at most. Again, that’s on a 2 year deal which is most likely what he’ll get. He’ll have those 2 years to prove that he can improve in the d-zone. If he’s still a liability in the d zone and can’t play 20 minutes of at least solid D every night, then he isn’t getting anywhere close to 5mill.

      He’s young and I believe he can still become a top d-man, but he still hasn’t figured out the main job of a defensemen, which is actually playing defense. Yes he improved last year but not by much. He definitely stepped up his offensive game which is something the Rangers need but if he can’t play D, then it doesn’t matter. Don’t bring up +/- we all know that stat is a joke. Players usually fly past him and he just flails his stick at them. He struggles behind the net and has no idea what to do in front of it. He plays his best when he plays a physical game and cuts players off at the top of the zone. But that’s about all he can do in the d-zone right now. Not a 4-5mill guy, definitely not 6-7. A guys like McDonagh might get 6-7 down the line. Since he improves every game, is already a shut down d-man and has A LOT of offensive potential.

  3. stakex - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    With basicaly the same team they will have this coming season the Rangers made it to the ECF, were two games from the Finals, and with a couple more goals from their young and still developing players they might well have won the cup. Do they NEED Nash? Thats easy… of course not.

    However, thats not the right question to ask. The question should be would Nash really help the Rangers, especially if they have to give up some of their core? A much tougher question to answer.

    • barkar942 - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      Stakex, you are correct. Would Nash really help the Rangers if they have to give up some of their core?
      I saw every Ranger game this season. Defensively, they were very good, even if they were missing Staal early on. They did pretty good with a core of 4 strong defensemen and 2 rotating third pair.
      Interchangeable parts on the third line. (The loss of Sauer did hurt).
      Offensively, they were, by-in-large, mostly just average. Richards came on late. Gabby was good, for the most part, but obviously playing very hurt in the playoffs. Cally was good.
      Boyle, Dubi, Feds, and Stepan were all lacking in the offensive department. Rupp was there to be a mentor and protector, not a big scorer. Hagelin and Kreider are both future superstars.
      So, what to give up for Nash- In my opinion Dubi, Stepan, Miller, possibly Borque and DelZ. That would clear enough cap space for Nash, then they would be pulling up a couple of new young guys to fill the lineup. Erixon should be ready to move up to take Del Z’s spot. Also, McElreath should be ready.
      In my humble opinion, if the Rangers were able to pull off a deal like this for Nash, they would benefit greatly and not be broken down too much away from their core.

      • stakex - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        That would be an awful trade for Nash. Stepan, Del Zotto, and Miller can’t all be included in the trade. Those three alone are worth more then Nash, at least to the Rangers.

        I’m also not sold on the fact the Rangers should consider trading Del Zotto. Hes had trouble at times, but when hes on hes a great defensemen who can put the puck in the net from time to time. Defense wins championships now adays, and giving him up with no guaranteed replacement is a huge risk.

        If I’m Sather my final offer would be Dubinsky, Miller, Erixon, Bourque, and a 1st round pick. Its fair, and if Columbus says no…. oh well.

  4. Eberwizzle - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Does anyone for all that money for 65-75 pts a season?

  5. georgia166 - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    The Rangers have a nice little nucleus building up there but last year’s Conference winning was a bit on the flukey side, heck they arent THAT good .

    • stakex - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      How was it “flukey”?

      First of all, they won the Easter Conference pretty handily. That happens over the course of 82 games, so theres nothing flukey about it. Thats especially true since the Rangers played in the toughest division in the NHL (4 of 5 teams in the Atlantic reached 100 points last season). They were simply the best team in the east. In the playoffs they struggled a bit, but still won the big games when they had to to get to the ECFs. There was nothing really fluky about that either. They had some luck along the way sure, especially against the Caps, but so do most teams that go deep in the playoffs.

      Second, what do you mean there not THAT good? You judge a team based on how well they perform… and last year they were the second best team in the East. Thats pretty damn good. If you want to break it down by individual talent, the Rangers actually have a very good team anyway. They have a 40 goal scorer in Gaborik, one of the better centers in the league in Richards, arguably the best goalie in the league, some of the best young defensemen around (not to mention the 3rd best goals allowed per game average last season), and a solid core of young forwards. You make it sound like they are a crappy team or something.

      Also consider that defense wins Cups now adays. Look how well things went for the offensive big guns in the east last year… not well at all. So when you consider the Rangers have one of the best defenses and goalies in the league, its hard to say there not a very good team. They might not be able to score goals like the Pens, but they don’t have to.

  6. dkphilly1122 - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    No way DZ gets 5 years, 6-7 Mill. He’s a decent Defenseman, but no where near 6-7 Mill for him. I know Carle got way too much money, so maybe anything’s possible, but I doubt the Rangers give him that kinda money, maybe as a FA he could for a desperate team. The Rangers don’t NEED Nash at all, WHEN they’re completely healthy they aren’t horrible and got a KILLER Goalie and Good Defense. That’s enough to keep them in any game. As a Flyer’s fan, I gotta say the Rangers and my Flyers need to keep there young players, not trade them away for older players who MIGHT help. They both were young teams last year and did pretty well.

  7. mclovinhockey - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    What D has not been overpaid for this year… Carle, Allen, Widemen, Green…. None of them should have gotten that much, yet they all did. Even Suter got overpaid for and besides Suter, delZ is the best player we talked about… Defensively at least

  8. bcisleman - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    If I were Howson, I would not trade w/ NYR unless Kreider was part of the package. Rather than a selection of spare parts, I’d want one potential star and a few picks from whoever I traded with.

  9. rallycally - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Howson wants NHL ready forwards. Throwing him erixon, a dman, and miller and bourque, still about a year away, wouldn’t work. I agree with dubi but I wouldn’t mind throwing anisimov in there if he wants NHL ready forwards.

  10. letsgonyr94 - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Nope. The last thing the Rangers need is another overpaid, overrated “star”.. They tried that it the past and it didn’t work. Now Sather finally builds a young team (one of the youngest in the league) that was the most dominant team in the NHL last season (from start to finish they were the most consistent team) and some fans want to throw it away for RICK NASH? He’s a good player, but is he great? His stats have declined for 4 straight years. He’s a big crybaby with the way he’s handled this situation in Columbus. He hasn’t won a single playoff game. Kreider had more playoff goals last year then Nash has in his career.

    I’ll ask you this, if Nash was free agent, would you sign him to a 6 year, $7.8million per contract? I wouldn’t. Especially with the uncertainty around this current cap situation. Now I have to sign him AND trade away young players and picks? Maybe I would do Dubinsky straight up for Nash, if Columbus HAD to trade him but that’s about all I would do.

    Stepan? A young center that improved in his 2nd year. And will continue to get better. He’s also very good defensively for someone his age. We haven’t even seen these kids peak yet. McDonagh? Don’t get me started. I wouldn’t trade either of these players straight up for Nash. They’re young and will only get better. This is what Rangers fans have been asking for, FOR YEARS. Every year another kid pops up and is taking on a big role for the Rangers. 2 years ago it was Stepan, Sauer and McDonagh. Last year it was Hagelin and Kreider. We still have McIlrath, Erixon and Miller waiting to make an impact.

    Luckily Sather is smarter then most of these “fans”…

  11. polishblue - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    honestly, this may be unpopular with many ranger fans, but instead of giving up 3 solid players/prospects, why not just sign Semin for 2 years and move on from there. Gabby was once very similar to Semin and somehow he’s doing ok under Torts. Semin knows that he has a lot to prove (even though he’s put up good numbers, except for last season) and if he messes up, well then theres always the Torts doghouse where he can be put in or the trade deadline where the rangers can get a bag of pucks and a role player.

    The rangers don’t need either player (nash or semin) but both would help right? So why not just go with the one who will cost less in terms of $$$ and assets…

    this is coming from someone who was opposed to signing Semin until about a few days ago when I learned Howson wants proven forwards (AA, Steps, Dubi?).

  12. sideface1523 - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    I say hagelin anisimov miller and a first rounder for Nash, if that doesn’t work there’s always semin who is good for about thirty goals especially after torts whips him into shape

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