COLUMBUS OH - NOVEMBER 10: Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrates after scoring a goal against the St. Louis Blues during the first period on November 10 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
This article is speculation. This has not happened.
Let me give you a scenario. Assume that Rick Nash's agent calls a press conference this afternoon and informs the media that his client not only wants a trade before the 2012 NHL Entry Draft but will also only accept a trade to the New York Rangers.
If that were to happen, Scott Howson suddenly has a major problem. Since Nash has a full no trade clause he cannot be moved anywhere without giving his consent. And since Nash has now told the public that he's only going to the Rangers, Howson has two choices.
He can either trade Nash to the Rangers for a significantly watered-down offer, since Glen Sather now is assured that he isn't bidding against anyone else. Or, Howson can keep Nash and threaten him with not being moved at all until he opens up his list a little so that he can get fair value. Either situation that would come from something like wouldn't be good for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Know who it would be good for? The Rangers. Follow me after the jump to find out.
Let me bring you back to when Brad Richards was still on the Dallas Stars two years ago. Richards refused to waive his no trade clause during the trade deadline, despite Sather making an offer for his services. At the time, it inspired irrational belief that it was because Richards either wanted to stay in Dallas or didn't want to play in New York.
In reality, Richards knew that the Rangers were high on his list, and wasn't going to remove vital assets from the team when he knew he was going to probably end up there over the summer. So he waited it out, and joined the Rangers for nothing (in terms of assets) the following July.
This situation with Nash is different, since he has six years remaining on his contract. However, Nash still holds some power and can do a similar thing Richards did by publicly saying he will only go to the Rangers.
If you're Scott Howson, doesn't Brandon Dubinsky, Michael Del Zotto (assuming the Rangers get Justin Schultz) and maybe a mid-level prospect sound a lot better than dragging things out with Nash all summer? And for the Rangers, doesn't just losing Del Zotto, Dubinsky and a mid-level prospect seem a whole hell of a lot better than the offer Sather made to Howson back in February?
If Rick Nash wants to win, why would he destroy some of the things that make the Rangers so dangerous? Taking out key pieces to add him into the fold only seems counterproductive.
Lucky for Rick Nash, he has the power to avoid that. Now the question is: Will he be willing to use it?