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The Rangers must protect Rick Nash in expansion draft

Las Vegas NHL Franchise Reveals Team Name And Logo Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There was some big news from Sportsnet today regarding the New York Rangers and the upcoming expansion draft for the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

For example, veteran winger Rick Nash is required to be protected by the New York Rangers. He’s been a popular player to expose in mock drafts conducted by users of or the (now defunct) site because of the Rangers cap situation and the fact Nash is due to carry a $7.8-million cap hit next season.

However, the language in the contract he signed with Columbus on July 3, 2009 stipulated that he maintained the no-move aspect of the deal when it came to being waived or loaned (and ultimately exposed for expansion, under the NHL’s new interpretation) even though his full no-trade clause was downgraded to a 12-team list in June 2015.

The addition of Nash means that the Rangers are on the hook to automatically protect four players:

  • Dan Girardi
  • Henrik Lundqvist
  • Rick Nash
  • Marc Staal

As the Sportsnet article points out, Nash was one of the forwards that was a “given” for the Rangers to expose to the draft because of his big cap hit.

This means that the Rangers will likely have to expose a forward that they really, really don’t want to expose at the end of the season.

Michael Grabner is a given, as former Blueshirt Banter contributor Ryan Ohanesian pointed out on twitter, but after that... it gets uncomfortable.

So, who would you expose to the expansion draft now that Nash is off the table?