Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash is reportedly being shopped around the NHL, and the New York Rangers are one of the potential suitors.
Nash -- who has scored 40-plus goals twice during his career, 30-plus goals six times, and at least 27 goals in every year since his rookie season -- would certainly help the Rangers light up the scoreboard.
But is he worth trading for? The Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter examines what it would take to land Nash.
Although Nash is having an off year this season (just 17 goals and 35 points in 53 games) those numbers are still top the Blue Jackets' scoring list, and he's putting up those numbers on a team that's having a poor year.
Now, onto the hard part about big trades, what the Rangers would need to give up. Let's start with Nash's cap hit. Nash is slated to make $7.8 million a year until 2018. That's a hefty contract, and one that would require some movements if the Rangers wanted to fit him under the cap (currently the Rangers have just over $1.5 million in cap space).
The salary can, incidentally, be shed in the trade itself, depending on what Columbus would actually want. If Brandon Dubinsky ($4.2 million) and Wojtek Wolski ($3.8 million) were involved, then the Rangers would free up $8 million in space, actually saving the team $200K in cap space. ...
Obviously Wolski and Dubinsky alone wouldn't get the deal done. Some combination of Chris Kreider, Christian Thomas, Matts Zuccarello and other picks or players would need to be involved.
The Blue Jackets might want even more than that in return for Nash, already such an accomplished goal-scorer at age 27. But the Rangers should certainly look into what it would take to acquire him, if for no reason other than due diligence.