Jan 10, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
Every day until the season starts we’ll explore an intriguing storyline for the upcoming year.
Last season, the New York Rangers fell just two wins short of playing in the Stanley Cup finals. They beat Ottawa and Washington in seven games, and lost to New Jersey in six. All in all, it was a good run.
But for all the good they did, they only scored more than three goals once in 20 games, and that was in the first game of the first round when they got four.
Nash, 28, was the NHL’s first overall pick in 2002. Since then, the big winger has scored 289 times in 674 games. Of all the players with fewer than 700 games played, only Alex Ovechkin has more career goals.
True, Nash comes with a big contract – six seasons remaining with a cap hit of $7.8 million. But guys with seven 30-goal seasons that are still in their 20s are somewhat hard to come by.
Following the conference final defeat to New Jersey, Rangers general manager Glen Sather was determined to improve his club’s offense.
“This changes the complexion of our team,” said Sather. “It’s not going to change the way we play, but his ability is – he’s a world-class player, and was very excited to come to New York. We were one of his chosen few right from the beginning.”
But will Nash buy in to the Rangers’ do-whatever-it-takes philosophy that saw them block the third most shots in the NHL last season?
“I have no worry in the world about that,” said Sather. “If you remember, if you look at the record that this guy’s had over his career, he’s got a tremendous record of being an excellent hockey player. He played in the Olympics, he was one of the better players on that team.
“[Rangers head coach John] Tortorella’s coached against him not only in the NHL but also at the Olympics, and knew very well what his style was, knew that he’d fit in well with us. Everyone in our organization was after this guy.”
Besides, blocking a lot of shots isn’t always a good sign. When you’re blocking shots, you don’t have the puck. The Minnesota Wild led the league in block shots last season; the Islanders were second. Puck possession, or lack thereof, was a major concern for Tortorella in the New Jersey series.
In Nash, the Rangers get a big body that can control the puck in the offensive zone.
Also safe to say, Nash never had linemates like that in Columbus.
“I think the main thing was looking at the team,” Nash said in July, “looking at what they’ve done over the years. It’s something I’d love to be part of.
“I’d love to help them out.”
Nov 20, 2014, 10:46 PM EST
Suffered a jaw injury and will not return.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:29 PM EST
Team is calling it a lower body injury. He will not return.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:26 PM EST
He spent 10 seasons in Vancouver.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:10 PM EST
Has his fourth of the season.
Nov 20, 2014, 9:37 PM EST
Making his debut on Chicago’s blue line tonight.
Nov 20, 2014, 9:10 PM EST
The two lead Philly to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 1997.
Nov 20, 2014, 8:07 PM EST
Surpasses his 2013-14 goal total.
Nov 20, 2014, 7:58 PM EST
Has his 11th of the season.
Nov 20, 2014, 7:30 PM EST
Was playing in the AHL at the time of the trade.
Nov 20, 2014, 6:30 PM EST
Luke Schenn will take the pre-game skate.
Nov 20, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
Meanwhile, Adam Clendening will make his NHL debut tonight vs. Calgary.
Nov 20, 2014, 5:27 PM EST
The Canadiens are stockpiling blueliners, it seems.
Nov 20, 2014, 5:24 PM EST
Former teammates at Lake Superior State University, traded for each other.
Nov 20, 2014, 5:13 PM EST
“Mr. Voynov maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name in court. We remain confident.”
Nov 20, 2014, 4:53 PM EST
“I don’t even remember who we play the next game.”
Nov 20, 2014, 4:43 PM EST
Faces up to nine years in prison.
Nov 20, 2014, 4:02 PM EST
The information was out there, the league argues.
Nov 20, 2014, 3:55 PM EST
A look at two of the NHL’s most intriguing coaching situations.
Nov 20, 2014, 3:24 PM EST
Are the Leafs married to mediocrity?
Nov 20, 2014, 3:19 PM EST
No makeup date announced yet.
- Video: Lindros and LeClair inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame 6
- BREAKING: Voynov charged with felony for domestic violence 29
- NHL responds to concussion lawsuit, says players should have ‘put two and two together’ 36
- (Video) PHT Extra: Carlyle’s on the hot seat, Hartley’s riding high 0
- Hextall launched profanity-laced tirade against Flyers last night 31
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him 56
- NHL watching 3-on-3 OT in the AHL closely 12
- Sens’ Murray hopes to bring cancer awareness 5
- Pens’ Dupuis has blood clot in lung, out six months 25
- It’s not all Carlyle’s fault, but the Leafs’ coach is failing at his job 12
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (56)
- Wild put Harding on waivers (Updated) (52)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)
- Video: Malkin runs over Girardi (Updated) (41)
- NHL responds to concussion lawsuit, says players should have ‘put two and two together’ (37)