2012 NHL Rumors: Is Rick Nash Actually Cheap?

COLUMBUS OH - OCTOBER 20: Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets is congradulated by teammates after a third period empty net goal against the Anaheim Ducks on October 20 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

For the past six months we have talked about, debated and considered what bringing Rick Nash to Broadway would mean for the New York Rangers. The general ideology has been that Nash simply isn't worth it because of his contract. But as Rick Carpiniello briefly mentioned on his site this morning, is Nash actually cheap? Is his contract actually affordable?

You see, many of the people who wanted nothing to do with Nash because of his contract wouldn't have had a problem if the Rangers had made a serious play for Zach Parise. Parise, who is expected to make his decision today, will most likely nab a contract worth over or around $8-million a year for 10 or so years. Doesn't that dwarf Nash's contract of $7.8-million for six years?

Join me after the jump for more.

The major difference is that Parise is "free." At least free in terms of not costing any assets. But apparently Scott Howson is well aware that the Rangers aren't moving Ryan McDonagh, which would also mean that Howson should be aware that the Rangers aren't moving Chris Kreider or Derek Stepan either.

But if Sather can swing a deal not moving those three, don't the Rangers have to do it?

The reality of the situation is that Nash is the best player of the trio (including Parise and Bobby Ryan). He scores at a higher rate than both of the other two, has a level of nastiness and grit and is a pretty complete player. And at 28 the Rangers would get a lot of prime out of his contract, unlike the back end of Parise's deal.

Nash is a player who has seen his numbers dip, yes, but how much of that is a result of Columbus putting no one around him to help ease the offensive burden? Nash had a horrible season last year, he still scored 30 goals. That's kind of the point here, imagine what Nash can do in New York? Imagine what Nash can do with Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Michael Del Zotto, Kreider and Stepan? Image what he can do with a complete team?

Here's the catch. There is still a new CBA looming. No one knows what the cap will be. This drops Nash's value to a degree, because while his contract might be affordable against other contracts signed now, it pushes the Rangers closer to the cap ceiling.

In the end, the Rangers need the scoring help. The Blue Jackets have to move Nash. The two sides will meet, one would think, but don't expect Sather to cave and offer the farm.

The Rangers are trying to get Nash cheap. Just like his contract.

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