For the last three weeks, rumors have been swirling around the New York Rangers regarding the trade deadline and their future. An article in the New York Post by Larry Brooks stated that management has made it clear. No matter where the team stands at the deadline, pieces are going to be moved in order to refresh and replenish the roster.
As it stands now, the Rangers are in last place in the Metropolitan division but due to the competitive nature in that division, they are just three points out of a wildcard spot. Michael Grabner, Ryan McDonough, and Mats Zuccarello are players teams have reportedly shown interest in, but no one has garnered the rumor mill more than forward, Rick Nash. He is clearly the New York Rangers biggest blue-chip trade asset for the trade deadline.
At the request of the Rangers, Nash submitted a 12 team list of places he be willing to go to. TSN confirmed on Monday that the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the 12 teams on his list. Nash made it known he wants to go somewhere that has a chance to win. “I included the teams that I think have the best chance of winning the Stanley Cup and are also places I think would be good for my family,” said Nash. “And yes, that does include teams in Canada. I’m not excluding that as a possibility.”
Other teams that are reportedly interested in the forward are Winnipeg, Boston, San Jose and Tampa. It is also believed that there are teams who were not on Nash’s 12 team list that have reached out to his agent, Joe Resnick of Top Shelf Sports Management Inc. Our own Jimmy Murphy put in a call to confirm whether or not Boston was one of the teams on Nash’s list.
Nash’s agent told Murphys Hockey Law, “Out of respect to the situation, my client and the Rangers, I can’t comment on that right now,” said Resnick. “Rick has submitted his list and he has made it known, he is more than willing to expand that list if an interested team comes forward and he is OK with it.”
My thoughts: It clearly is no longer a matter of if Nash gets traded. It’s now when he gets traded, where will he go? It’s reported that Nashville and Dallas are the two front runners to land him. Now, no matter where he goes, Nash’s impact will immediately make the team’s top six better. I believe he has skill and talent to move a borderline contender to contender. He would make a team like Tampa Bay go from a favorite to a lock for the Stanley Cup.
But from the Rangers standpoint, a team I would listen to closely would be the Boston Bruins. If the Rangers are truly looking to blow up what they have now and begin to build for the future, the stockpile of young NHL ready players and prospects the Bruins have in their pipeline is enticing. I do not think it is a move the Boston Bruins should do, but if they are willing to, that is where the Rangers should listen closely.