Broadway Rick

Posted: July 23, 2012 by robcunningham91 in Pro Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The new Blueshirt (Courtesy: BleacherReport.com)

By: Rob Cunningham

The New York Rangers were in heavy discussion at the trade deadline last season for Columbus forward Rick Nash. However, a deal never came to fruition due to the apparent high demands of Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson.

Fast forward five months and Nash will now be playing his home games at Madison Square Garden.

The deal, completed Monday, sends Nash to New York along with minor league defenseman Steve Delisle and a conditional 2013 third-round pick. In return, the Jackets receive forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon, and the Rangers’ first-round pick in 2013.

So what happened?

Well, the Rangers weren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut during the playoffs, averaging just over two goals per game before their elimination in the conference finals. They will also miss leading goal scorer Marian Gaborik to start the season due to shoulder surgery. Nash has been an offensive machine since being the first overall pick in 2002, scoring 30 or more goals in seven of his nine seasons with Columbus, including a career-high 41 to lead the league in 2003-04.

Secondly, it’s all about keeping up with the competition. Division rival Philadelphia is in position to acquire possibly the best defenseman in the NHL. Therefore, the Rangers looked to make a big splash in the name of one-upsmanship. This was hinted at Sunday by Eklund, lead blogger and founder of Hockeybuzz.com.

The asking price went down slightly as well. In February at the trade deadline, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that Howson wanted a package including promising young defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto, 2009 first-rounder Chris Kreider, and 2011 first-round pick J.T. Miller. The Rangers didn’t bite. Now they have given up two top-six forwards in Dubinsky and Anisimov and a top prospect in Erixon, but still have those young players to replace them.

So who wins this deal? Well, the Rangers are now stuck with Nash’s $7.8 million cap hit for the next six years, fifth-highest in the league. However, Nash is in his prime at 28 years old and is out of Columbus, as he requested, playing for a contender for the first time in his career. This new scenery could mean new motivation for Nash to play the best hockey of his career.

On the flip side, Columbus finally rids itself of its disgruntled captain in exchange for two top-six guys that can score and play physical, a prospect d-man, and a first round pick. Dubinsky can also be a leader in the locker room and possibly the new captain to replace Nash. According to Capgeek.com, Dubinsky will make $4.2 million against the cap over the next three years. Anisimov will be a restricted free agent after this season, making $1.875 million. Erixon, still on his entry-level contract, could soon crack the top six on the blueline, making $1.75 million over the next two years. Add the three together and you get $7.825 million against the cap, just about the same as Nash at triple the man-power. All that plus a first round pick.

The Rangers might be better in the short-term and could contend for a Cup once again with Nash as their offensive focal point. However, Columbus now has three, possibly four, young players to build around at about the same cost and could be the winners in the long-term.

What say you?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s