There have been tweets abound about how Columbus Blue Jackets’ General Manager Scott Howson has been at the past two Rangers games. It has been inferred that the Rangers may be after one of Rick Nash or Jeff Carter. We here have started a series called Breaking Down The Rumor, and these tweets have given us an opportunity to look at both Nash and Carter. In separate posts of course. First, we lead off with Nash.
Nash is Columbus’ franchise player, and a great talent. That much we know. What we also know is that Nash is expensive, and not just in what it would cost to acquire him. Nash is making $7.8 million per season (cap hit) until the end of the 2017-2018 season, when he will be 34 years old. Taking a step back, is paying $7.8 million a year for a guy who averages 34 goals a year worth it?
Yes, he may have hit 40 goals twice, but he averages 34 goals a year. He has one season where he didn’t crack 30, and is on pace for another this year. Food for thought.
Looking at the price to acquire him, it is going to be astronomical. Bruce Garrioch stated that the Jackets would ask for Brandon Dubinsky, Chris Kreider, and a first round pick as a start. Naturally, that is a lot to ask for. Dubinsky is the obvious guy that would need to be included, as his $4.2 million cap hit through 2015 would go a long way in helping the Rangers absorb Nash’s cap hit.
Kreider is the guy that most people get hung up on when including him in a trade for pretty much anyone. Many consider him to be untouchable, but we’ve already broken down why no one is ever untouchable. Basically, what the Jackets are asking for in exchange for their franchise player is a good, young roster player, a top prospect, and a first round pick. Steep, but fair.
Are the Rangers better when replacing Dubinsky with Nash? Absolutely. But, with Nash’s extra $3.6 million in salary, and the expiring CBA, the Rangers are likely cautious to take on that much salary. Brandon Prust and Michael Del Zotto need to be re-signed this year, the year after the expiring CBA.
But next year isn’t the issue, it’s the year after. Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, Carl Hagelin, Ryan McDonagh, and Mike Sauer all need to be re-signed after the 2013-2014 season. Those guys will not come cheap, and that $3 million will mean a lot to the Rangers.
Nash makes the Rangers even better, but it would definitely partially sacrifice some of the future. Plus, do you really think Columbus will trade their franchise player, and the only reason why people come to see the Blue Jackets? I doubt it. But, to be fair, if it’s Dubi/Kreider/1st, in my opinion, I’d take a pretty long look at the deal. Again, it’s steep, but relatively fair.
*Here is the rest of our Trade Deadline coverage.