COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 13: Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets takes the ice for the game against the Vancouver Canucks at Nationwide Arena on December 13, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
PuckDaddy recently released a list of possible destinations for Rick Nash this summer and I wanted to do my own little analysis of the five teams involved. You'll find a short little excerpt about each team being linked to Nash, and possible names that could be tossed around in trade proposals.
I know, I know, what would this offseason be if we didn't discuss Rick Nash trade rumors? Well, here's some more for you to think about. During this past trade deadline, Rick Nash was moments away from becoming a New York Ranger, up until Howson demanded everything but the kitchen sink from Glen Sather. Now that Howson has had time to get off what ever he was on during deadline day, multiple teams have began tossing some "significant" offers.
One of the teams at the top of that chart would be the New York Rangers. Several days ago, Darren Dreger reported that the Rangers have all the right pieces to acquire a high talented player like Rick Nash. And it appears that the Rangers will offer up various packages throughout the summer in an attempt to acquire his services.
Now, you can't count out the rest of the 29 other teams in the league, as I'm sure every team has kicked the tires around. A highly talented guy like Nash doesn't come available too often, so a lot of teams would love to land him.
Join me after the jump for a short analysis on the top five teams linked to Rick Nash this summer.
1) New York Rangers
It has been said for a while now that Rick Nash would be a perfect fit for the New York Rangers. The Rangers lacked scoring during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Marian Gaborik playing through a torn rotator cuff since the first round. And as I stated before, the Rangers have a boatload of prospects they are willing to deal away to acquire a guy like Nash. The Rangers are also on Nash's "approved" list of teams in which he would agree to be traded to.
If the Rangers were to get a deal done, Brandon Dubinsky is almost a given in any sort of deal going back to Columbus. However, Howson was really high on rookie sensation, Chris Kreider at the deadline, and the question remains if he still wants him to be a vital part of the deal. It's already been note by Glen Sather that after his incredible playoff performance, Kreider is untouchable, and rightly so.
There was a big mess earlier in the week about James van Riemsdyk supposedly holding off surgery in order to delay a trade to Columbus for Nash. Just like Dubinsky for the Rangers, van Riemsdyk is almost a given in any sort of proposal going back to Columubs. Again, like the Rangers, Howson is very high on rookie Sean Courtier and the Flyers are not completely sold on letting him go just yet.
The San Jose Sharks were in the mix at the deadline with names such as Logan Couture, and Joe Thornton being tossed around. The Sharks don't have nearly as much prospect depth as the Rangers do, but they do have some current NHL players they are willing to part ways with. Like the Maple Leafs though, the Sharks are willing to include a starting goaltender, in which the Columbus Blue Jackets are desperately in need of, with Steve Mason showing signs of weakness.
The Maple Leafs were supposedly making a large push for Rick Nash, when his name became available in February. It was also noted that the Leafs were apparently on the list of "approved" teams as well, but is it a likely destination for Nash? The Leafs are willing to part ways with defensemen Luke Schenn, and possible backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. Unlike many of the other teams, the Maple Leafs have a goaltender they are willing to deal.
Finally, we have the Hurricanes, which appeared to be a late comer to all of this ruckus. The Hurricanes are rumored to be targeting many of the top free agents this summer, such as Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, and now Rick Nash. The Hurricanes don't have much depth prospect wise, but could we see a blockbuster deal in the making? One thing to think about though, were the Carolina Hurricanes even on Rick Nash's approved list? I guess we'll find out soon enough.