The New York Rangers are paying winger Rick Nash $7.8 million per year until the end of the 2017-18 season. In the two years he’s been with the team, Nash has failed to do what he was brought to New York for (score), but he is making up for it with an all-around game. This has led to fans and analysts looking at the possibilities of Nash being dealt this offseason.
Trading Nash would make sense for the Rangers. You’re not paying an “elite offensive talent” who can’t find the back of the net when it matters nearly $8 million a year. His contract is a huge hit to the salary cap, but he could be traded for a group of young prospects. Trading Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets last year for Derrick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore actually worked out for New York, as all three players got solid ice time. Scott Gomez was traded for Ryan McDonagh (we all know how that worked out).
While it sounds easy to unload Nash to another team, it’d still make the Rangers worse. Nash also has a no movement clause and can veto whatever trade the Rangers make including him. New York would also most likely have to eat a lot of his salary if he does get traded. Without Nash, though, the Rangers having home ice in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is slim. His offense has been decreasing, but the ability to stay clutch hasn’t left the 30-year-old.
Nash is still an elite player in the NHL and shows flashes of being worth his current contract, just not consistently. All season long I’ve said that he should be playing in front of the net, grabbing the dirty rebounds and screening goaltenders. If he used all 6-foot-4 of his body instead of trying to overpower defensemen from the point with his shots, he’d probably score more. Chris Kreider has made that his game, and he’s become one of the team’s most valuable players.
If Nash makes these adjustments in the offseason, the idea of trading him becomes asinine. Trading Nash seems almost illogical, but we’ve seen crazier things happen before.