Friday, February 24, 2012

Speculation on Rick Nash and New Trade Landscape

With the trade of Jeff Carter, Columbus GM Scott Howson hones in on where to send superstar, and franchise face, Rick Nash.

Depending on who you believe, Rick Nash has given Howson a list of teams he will accept a trade to. His No Trade Clause gives him that power. The other prevailing thought is that there is not so much a concrete list, but a few "must-haves" that he is looking for. One would most likely be that the team is a contender. Another may be that it is a big market team.

Howson is keeping the "list" close to the vest, as well he should. Lest a dance partner learns they have an upper hand. However, until Carter was moved, Howson had some advantages. Now that Carter is gone, teams will want a quick decision on whether or not they will be getting Nash.

TSN's Darren Dreger tweeted tonight:
Once Carter gets done will be interested to see how quickly Nash gets moved. NYR can't wait until Monday. CBJ will need to make a decision.
 More teams likely have the same sentiments. If they are not in the running for Nash, they need to devote their time looking for forwards they can get.

These teams are likely Toronto, Philadelphia, and New York. Boston, San Jose and Vancouver have also been linked to talks with Columbus concerning the pricey power forward.

But the Carter trade, as expected, changes the playing field. Now that L.A. got Carter, and effectively bowed out of the Nash sweepstakes, it looks like they may be willing to move captain Dustin Brown.
Brown may take the focus off Nash, lower Nash's value.

Teams like the Flyers, Leafs and Rangers may make a stronger play for Brown as he has about $4 million less in salary, a shorter contract and would cost less in a trade to get. Dreger also tweeted:

Dustin Brown's avail also puts heat on CBJ to make decision on Nash...soon. NYR,Tor Philly, just to name a few are interested.
If Columbus doesn't make a move soon, teams will push hard for the easier option in Brown.

With the Carter trade, and Brown's supposed availability, I see NYR, PHI and TOR moving away from Nash and going after Brown. This leaves San Jose as one of the only real dance partners left for Columbus.

San Jose is the team of Rick Nash's good friend, Joe Thornton. Giving it good chance Nash would waive his NTC to go there. SJ's proximity to L.A. leaves them out of the Brown running. They have pieces that could entice Howson to pull the trigger now, rather than wait until Draft Day.

San Jose would most likely have to move C Joe Pavelski in a deal for Nash. Pavelski is easily the best player tied to the Nash trade talks. A package of Pavelski, a 1st+ could be the best package for Nash at the moment.

With Carter moving to L.A. the whole Nash saga changes. Teams looking for that physical scorer now have another option in King's Dustin Brown. Teams will not be inclined to wait for Howson to comb over every possible deal, leaving San Jose as the only real contender for Nash.

If this gets down before deadline day, it looks like it could be to San Jose.

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