In almost every post here since Rick Nash went down with a concussion, the talk has been about his status, how long he will be out, and how good the Rangers will be (now that they appear to be clicking) once he returns full time. However, there has been a lot of concern about the severity of his concussion. Mum has been the word from the Rangers, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean bad things, it’s not exactly a positive either.
With concussions, the rule of thumb is no news is bad news. We here at BSB are the eternal optimists, but even we are beginning to get a little concerned about Nash’s concussion, his second in a calendar year. The Rangers have a history of being quiet about concussions, since there is never a set time table for his return. They were quiet for Marc Staal, who took almost a year to come back. They were quiet with Mike Sauer, who never came back.
Of course, Nash came back pretty quickly from his first concussion. Brad Richards only missed a few games after his concussion. So there is some room for optimism here. But Nash has already been out for a month.
I’ve been saying that the sign Nash will be out long term will be his placement on LTIR. However, that’s not exactly the case. You can’t bank LTIR space. Since the Rangers are under the cap (by pennies) without he or Ryan Callahan on LTIR, there’s no need to put him on LTIR. LTIR doesn’t clear cap space, it allows you to spend over the cap by the salary amount (Nash – $7.8 million). New York needed to do this with Carl Hagelin to get under the cap, but they don’t need to do it now.
Nash won’t be placed on LTIR until the club makes a move that will put them over the cap. That is the moment when we will know something is seriously wrong here, but it is not the moment when we will know he is out long term. It’s a bit of a conundrum.
After 350 words, I don’t think I’ve even answered the question in the title of the post. I am not usually a worrier, but I am beginning to worry about Nash’s injury. Concussions are tricky. The Rangers have been silent (like with Sauer and Staal). Nash has not even been seen at practice or optional skates. That’s not a good trifecta.