If Rick Nash ever heads to the New York Rangers, general manager Glen Sather is going to have to forfeit “established NHL forwards” in a trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ general manager Scott Howson.
That’s the latest word from Howson in his seemingly sky-high demands for Nash, who requested a trade at the trade deadline this past February. While it’s clear Nash wants out, Howson is not prepared to move anyone until he receives what he believes is fair compensation. And thus, the stalemate.
According to a new NHL.com report, Howson would not confirm that Nash would only accept a trade to the “Bruins, Flyers, Penguins, Rangers, Red Wings or Sharks”, as has been reported by various media outlets.
“If we do complete a trade, we’re trading out a 30- to 40-goal scorer,” Howson told TSN’s Gino Reda. “Defense is probably the strongest part of our team as we look at it today, so we’re looking to get some NHL forwards back first and foremost.”
Howson said he has no timetable to make a deal. He said he has talked to “a number of teams.”
One would have to think that Howson will reach a trade agreement for Nash before the 2012 season begins, as it would be incredibly uncomfortable for all in the Blue Jackets franchise to have Nash remain in Columbus, even for a short period of time.
If the Rangers are able to land Nash, it’s reasonable to predict that players like Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, and Derek Stepan could be moved along with a potential prospect (or some combination of the above). It’s been widely reported that Stepan has a “untouchable” status attributed to him, but whether Sather finally caves into Howson’s demands is up for debate. Personally, I hope he doesn’t.
Nash’s contract has a salary-cap value of $7.8 million for the next six seasons, according to CapGeek.com.