So, after a few hours of work, then a few hours of yard work, I settled into my chair to watch golf. God, I love the U.S. Open.
Then I finally opened the Sunday papers (yes, kids, those are actually made of paper, and you turn the pages to read more stories), and I read Larry Brooks’ column about the Rangers’ pursuit of Rick Nash.
Now, Larry’s got some good sources, and he’s not always right, and I’m definitely not about to argue what is or isn’t fact in there, especially since only Glen Sather’s inner circle really know, and that inner circle doesn’t really give out a lot of info on stuff like this.
The point is, I don’t know that Columbus GM Scott Howson will change his crazy demands for Nash, but if he really has a little auction going and several teams involved, why would he want less than he wanted on Feb. 27?
And if he won’t take less, then I agree with Brooks’ story in that, if Howson insists on Chris Kreider or Ryan McDonagh being part of the deal, then there’s not going to be a deal. I don’t know that, but I do know how the Rangers feel about those two kids, and that there are too many good, smart hockey people in the organization to make the mistake of sending either of those two promising players, plus a lot of other stuff, to take on a 30-goal scorer with an enormous salary-cap hit ($7.8 million).
Look, I like Nash. I think he’s big, young (28) just nasty enough, a good skater and a sniper despite some decline in his stats. I think he is exactly what the Rangers need. I don’t worry about busting up any chemistry. The Rangers aren’t worried about the cap hit. If they can get him without losing Kreider or McDonagh, they’re a better team next season
Brooks speculated that the Rangers won’t even be willing to include Derek Stepan in that package, and I’m not sure about that one. I mean, no doubt they’d rather get it done without Stepan (and they’d rather not give up Michael Del Zotto, too). Yet I don’t think at the drop-dead midnight moment of Columbus’ trade of Nash, Stepan or Del Zotto would be a deal-breaker for the Rangers. Maybe they would.
Yet I don’t believe at all that Brandon Dubinsky, a first-round pick and a prospect like JT Miller or Tim Erixon (or both), and, say, Artem Anisimov or Carl Hagelin, will get Nash here. I don’t.
So the question is, do the Rangers go Dubinsky, Anisimov/Hagelin, Del Zotto, Miller/Erixon and a first? Is that crazy? (IMO, Del Zotto’s just starting to scratch the surface on his potential). Would that even be enough?
My point is, I don’t think Rick Nash is going to be a Ranger unless a lot of other teams drop out and Howson’s price comes down a lot. And for that to happen, I expect this will drag on for a while.
Gun to my head: no Rick Nash for the Rangers.