The New York Rangers have received a no-trade list from winger Rick Nash meaning he will likely be on the move soon. Nash is set to be a free agent at the end of the season and will most likely be a rental player for a team that needs scoring help.
Nash has a full no-trade clause allowing him to veto a trade to a team that he would not like to go to. The most likely landing spot for Nash would be a middle to upper tier team that has assets to make a splash. The trade deadline on February 26th is fastly approaching, but the Rangers have given themselves enough time to explore their options with the veteran winger.
The 33-year old winger Rick Nash currently has 25 points on the season in 52 games. Lately, he has struggled considerably with only two points in six games, but that doesn’t mean Nash wouldn’t be valuable to a team in need of scoring. The 6’ 4” 211 pound Nash brings a combination of size and skill that is unique to the NHL. Whatever team he goes to will gain an instant boost on the offensive end.
Minnesota Wild – 2nd Wild Card Spot – 61 Points
The Rangers most likely will not be looking to send Nash to a division rival, so that eliminates a lot of the on the bubble playoff teams in the east. The Wild’s offense is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they could use a boost. Nash could bring a two-way forward mentality that the Wild have been looking for this season.
Minnesota is currently 13th in the NHL scoring 2.9 goals per game. The Wild have a lot of veteran leadership with Eric Staal, Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. Winger Rick Nash could help add to this veteran leadership in Minnesota.
The Wild currently have the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference by one point, but they are starting to hit their stride. They recently got Parise back at the beginning of January, and he is already making a difference in the pace of play in Minnesota.
The Wild don’t necessarily need Rick Nash, and there is no telling if they even want him, but after last year’s fail of a trade acquiring Martin Hanzal the Wild front office may be looking to redeem themselves.
Los Angeles Kings – 3rd Place in The Pacific – 61 Points
The Kings defense has been outstanding this season. They are giving up just 2.39 goals per game this season, and their penalty kill is the top unit in the NHL, but on the offensive side, they have struggled.
Right now the Kings are 18th in the NHL scoring 2.8 goals per game. A lot of this is due to a lack of chances. Los Angeles ranks 23rd in the NHL in shots on goal which is why I think winger Rick Nash would be perfect for this team.
Nash could come to Los Angeles and help space the ice and create more chances for a team that is lacking on the offensive end. The Kings wouldn’t need to ask too much of him defensively considering they have on of the top defensive units in the league and Jonathan Quick.
The Kings are in a tight division out in the Pacific, and a scorer could make all the difference for this team down the stretch. If the price is right, I could see the Rangers shipping Nash out west. It is an ideal situation for New York because they could acquire assets while at the same time sending Nash out of the conference.
Pittsburgh Penguins – 3rd Place In The Metropolitan – 61 Points
This trade I think is a little bit less likely. The Rangers have full control over where Nash ends up so I am sure they won’t send him to a team inside the division; however, I could see Pittsburgh giving the Rangers an offer they can’t refuse.
The Penguins are a very aggressive team when it comes to making their team better and is in a win-now mode. The Penguins offense is already excellent and they have a power play unit that is levels above anyone in the NHL.
Adding Nash to this roster would only make the rich-richer, but Pittsburgh could be looking to do just that. Taking on a role as 3rd or possibly 4th line player with the Penguins, Nash could help light a spark underneath some of the young guys by giving them looks and chances they haven’t been able to get this year.
This trade is a long shot in my opinion, but if any team is going to get Nash in the Metropolitan division, I would guess that it will be Pittsburgh.
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