Here's two full disclosures before we get into this argument:
1) "Silly season" is officially open for the New York Rangers. You know what I mean. This is the time of year where people throw out insane trades (think something along the lines of Tanner Glass, Dan Girardi and a 4th for Taylor Hall) for the masses. And ...
2) The Rangers have the privilege of being a big-market team with a significant out of market draw, so their name is usually included in all these click-bait rumors. Other teams in the same boat are Toronto, Montreal, Philly, Boston, Chicago and, well, you probably get the picture.
It's also worth noting, however, that when there is real smoke there is usually at least some fire. And while this Rick Nash trade rumor started a few days ago, it's seeming to pick up steam as the days go by.
The rumor seems to have started from Larry Brooks in this article from five days ago. Brooks -- even with all his warts-- is easily the most connected insider on the Rangers beat. And while the below excerpt from his story seems like it's just him spit-balling, it's never so simple with Brooks. If he knows something (and when he does usually no one else does) it's not unlike him to float it out there like an idea.
From his story:
In order to make any sense at all for the Rangers, for whom Nash has scored 15.1 percent of the team's regular-season goals since putting on the Blueshirt and whose 42 this year were twice as many as co-runners-up Chris Kreider and Marty St. Louis produced, the conversation on a return package would have to feature T.J. Oshie, Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen.
From there a million different people weighed in on the return as though it was an actual proposal. Things died down a little; until last night when Bob McKenzie mused the Rangers were considering trading Nash. The quote is below (pulled from The Score):
"Mum is the word from the New York Rangers. They're not talking about specifics, but I have to believe one thing that will at least be considered is the possibility of considering trading Rick Nash," McKenzie said.
Brooks is one thing. McKenzie is another, and like it or not him just talking about it does bring a level of legitimacy to the situation.
Of course, it needs to be noted, McKenzie's word is not law. Remember last year when he casually suggested the Rangers were interested in Tyler Bozak, throwing me (and basically everyone else) in a rage-induced panic that caused me to write this:
I don't even have words to express how insane this move would be from a logistics standpoint. And I don't feel like going into all the reasons why Bozak is a paper tiger which, if acquired, would be a catastrophic failure by management. The cap space, thankfully, doesn't really allow this to work, so let's leave it at that.
And if the Rangers actually do want a guy like Bozak, then nothing is the best move because no good will come from this deadline.
But -- and it's a big but -- McKenzie does know things, even if he's just speculating he's not one to do it blind. And if he's talking about the Rangers thinking about moving Nash then maybe there is some legitimacy to this rumor. Even if the rumor is just the Rangers having an internal discussion about thinking about seeing what they can get for him.
The reality of the situation, sadly, is Nash has become the biggest scapegoat for the past two playoff failures. It might have been fair last year, but it really isn't this year -- and it's more proof that swinging a big stick in the media is more attractive than actually trying to dissect a given situation.
That's a topic not worth getting into here -- and there will be longer stories to come from this topic soon. What I will say is it would not be totally surprising if it turns out the Rangers were talking about what they could get from Nash. In fact, I'd argue that it's part of their job to discuss all options as they enter this critical summer.
But if you're going to move the team's best player not named Henrik Lunqvist -- and probably the biggest reason the Rangers earned the right to have a shot at Game 7 at home -- you better not screw it up. It's very hard to acquire legitimate stars in the NHL, and it's even harder to get a three-zone star who can impact both sides of the ice. Nash is one of those players. So if you move him you better make sure you're getting what you need back.
And remember, guys, there was a time when Marian Gaborik "sucked and was never a clutch player and will never win a Stanley Cup." Until he scored 14 goals in last year's playoffs and beat the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup.
How quickly we forget.