Rick Nash: Would An Offer From Toronto Measure Up?

February 18th, 2012 11 Comments

With the NHL trade deadline just nine days away Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash continues to be in high demand by many NHL teams.

The Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs are said to be in the running for Nash’s services, along with the Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks and Flyers seem to be getting the least amount of press in the Nash Rumors, while Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto seem to be the most logical destinations—all things considered.

When evaluating what the Blue Jackets could potentially net in trading Nash one must consider Nash’s hefty $7.8 million salary which could potentially play havoc with any team Nash joins.

According to capgeek.com, the Vancouver Canucks will have $407,359 available at the deadline. The Los Angeles Kings will have $3,188,225, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have $5,998,352, while the New York Rangers come in at $6,959,621.

Based on cap space alone the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers look to be in a good position to add Nash’s salary. That said, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke also has to worry about re-signing two of the NHL’s top-ten scoring leaders in Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul—both of whom will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2012-13 season, both of whom will not come cheap.

Of course, Burke could send some salary the other way to help off-set Nash’s measurable contract, but we’ll get to that a little later.

The word on the street is that Columbus will be asking for a roster player, top prospect, and a first round draft pick—for starters.

That’s a huge price for a player that currently sits 55th overall in goal scoring (18) and a paltry 74th in points scored (39) this season.

Sure, Nash has the potential to be a perennial 40-goal, 80-point player, but when you consider how much you’d have to give up for him and the hefty $7.8 million price tag Nash carries, one wonders if acquiring Nash is really worth it?

So what will it take to get Nash?

Vancouver could offer the likes of goaltender Cory Schneider, forward Cody Hodgson and defenseman Christopher Tanev as well as a first round draft choice. The Rangers are said to be dangling forward Brandon Dubinsky, top prospect Chris Kreider and a first round draft pick. Los Angeles is said to be offering up goaltender Jonathan Bernier, defenseman Jack Johnson and a pick, while Toronto could put together a package that may include the likes of defenseman Luke Schenn, prospects Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne, forward Nikolai Kulemin and draft picks.

When you look at all the potential deals the two that stand out are those from Los Angeles and Vancouver. Both deals include a goaltender that could potentially be a number one goalie and both offer up a good combination of players at every position.

With Columbus needing upgrades at every position they will be looking for a return that nets them a number of quality players or prospects that can give them a head start on their potential rebuild.

Put yourself in Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson’s shoes for a second—which deal would you take?

Toronto’s bid looks to include a questionable prospect in Nazem Kadri, a defenseman that has been a healthy scratch on a number of occasions this season in Luke Schenn and a forward that is having a career low in Nikolai Kulemin and a draft pick heading to Columbus, while the potential deals from Vancouver and Los Angeles appear to be infinitely better.

It really is no contest— Toronto’s deal simply does not make the cut. Not if Vancouver and Los Angeles are willing to give up what they are rumored to be offering. If this is the case Brian Burke simply does not have the top-end quality to offer up that Vancouver and Los Angeles does.

In fact, while the potential haul from the Rangers does not include a top goaltending prospect, the thought of adding forward Brandon Dubinsky, top prospect Chris Kreider and a first round draft pick must be very tempting for Howson and may be better than any offer Burke could dream up (without getting stupid).

The Rangers could also dangle the likes of young forward Derek Stepan or defenseman Michael del Zotto to sweeten the deal, depending on how desperate they are to land the likes of Nash.

At the end of the day, as much as the Leafs Nation would love to see Nash in the Blue and White, the odds are far from good.

What say you? What deal would you make if you were Scott Howson? How does Toronto’s potential offer stand up in your opinion?

Until next time,



  1. peterj says:

    Nash is a potential 40 goal winger with good size, BUT he is a liability defensively, he is a one way player although a very talented one. The Leafs have enough one way goal players who can score and really don’t need another one. Because of this, his cap hit, and the cost to make the trade I think they would be better off trading for Carter, he can score 35 to 40 goals, has size, is a tougher player, and is much better defensively. He also has a much better cap hit all be it with a little longer term. He is also a player that Columbus appears to have given up on, and as such it would seem that they have to move him as it is fairly evident that Carter desperately wants out of Columbus and will never be a fit there (what would). I think this presents an opportunity for Burke to work his magic and do another one sided trade. After all if Grabovski is supposed to be worth 5 to 5.4 million for what he can deliver, Carter is certainly worth what he is being paid.

  2. Mark Ritter says:


    You make some excellent points. Carter has also been linked to L.A. and would be a good fit in Toronto, but as we all know the term of his contract is scary. With JVR coming back look for the Schenn for JVR rumors to surface quickly. Not sure I like JVR on the Leafs, but Burke sure seems to revisit bringing JVR into the fold a lot.


  3. Dave says:

    If Nash comes to Toronto, I think it will look something like this:

    To Columbus:

    Luke Schenn
    Carl Gunnarson
    Nazem Kadri
    Clarke MacArthur
    1st Round Pick 2012
    3rd Round Pick 2013

    To Toronto:

    Rick Nash
    Derick Brassard

    I then see BB sending Grabbo packing (sucks but neccesary for two reason – immediate cap relief and will re-coup the 1st). Brassard also fits the bill for a second line center.

    Columbus then trades Jeff Carter to LA for a mix including Bernier to solve their goalie issues.

    The deal makes sense to me – Brassard was confirmed by his agent in late in 2011 requesting a trade. BB was rumored by Dreger and McKenzie to be interested – could this be the time to do it with Grabbo wanting a contract over 4.50?

    Crazy high stakes deal but hey, its deadline season!!!

    What do you think?


  4. Mark Ritter says:

    Hey Dave—

    I think that’s too much to give up for Nash—three roster players, two picks, wow! I mean, Nash is good, but at $7.8 million per adding him compromises Burke’s ability to sign Lupul and Kessel down the road and I see those two as the building blocks.

    We’d all like to add Nash, then I watch a game like Saturday night where we lose 6-1 to Vancouver and question if it isn’t goaltending and defense Burke should be going after instead of another forward?

    Sorry man, I just don’t see it happening…


  5. Mark Ritter says:

    More competition for Burke: check out this blog from Pro Sports Daily—

    The Philadelphia Flyers are engaged in serious discussions with the Columbus Blue Jackets about acquiring right wing Rick Nash, according to Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com.

    Executives from the Blue Jackets organization have been present in Philadelphia for the third straight game. Columbus general manager Scott Howson had two lengthy conversations with Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, according to the report.

    Panaccio speculates that the Flyers would need to trade forwards Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn in order to acquire Nash.

    Schenn and Couturier? That’s a nice package and they have Bryz and Bob to peddle if need be…how does Burke compete with that folks???

  6. Dave says:

    As per Sportsnet – Burkie met with Howson this morning in NYC over breakfast. This could be interesting….

    I wouldnt be as worried about the 7.8 cap hit dude. I think its well worth the investment. Agreed Kessel and Lupul need to get done, but if the Leafs could do the deal including Brassard or at least find a comparible I think we’ll be fine. The grabbo scenario playing out scares me with more urgency. Komisarek and Lombardi look to be the spare parts here. If Burkie pedels either taking back nothing more than picks down the road, we would be fine. Colbourne is our future second/third centre and Blacker will fill the void next year or in 2013/14. So in short, bumping up Kessel and Lupul 1.5-2.0 million should be doable with Nash at 7.8. A goalie could be added in there as well with the salary savings and cost certainty.

    Just my 2 cents….

  7. Mark Ritter says:

    Some good points there Dave. One thing we all have to consider is that a new CBA has to be hammered out this summer. That could potentially be a good or bad thing in the Cap department. I am worried about adding a $8 million player with little information about the future of the cap, but I am stoked at the idea Nash may become a Leaf. I still think Burke needs to upgrade the D and/or the goaltending.

    If Burke can find a way to make it all work he is genius, period!

    Peace Brother!

  8. peterj says:

    What worries me about Nash is that he plays in a non traditional hockey city, Carter on the other hand played with success in a hockey market where the expectations are always high and where there is a lot of pressure to succeed. I remember Pierre Larouche who was a 50 goal scorer in Pittsburg but spent a lot of time sitting on the bench after being traded to Montreal because Scotty Bowman said he needed to learn how to be a hockey player. Players from non hockey cities aren’t exposed to the fan and media expectations that players in Toronto are, and not all of them can thrive in that atmosphere

  9. Dave says:

    Good point dude….forgot that theres rumblings out there that the cap will go down with the new CBA. I hope not but I can’t see any of these smaller market teams survivng with the cap north of 60M. As a whole, they just cannot compete. Here’s to hoping Burkie hammers out something we can live with. My hesitation let someone like Nash (or any of the other rumoured stars either rumored to be on the block or upcoming FA’s like Parise/Getzlaf/Ryan/Staal) is that you just dont come by players like that (generally speaking) without tanking for years not to mention having a string of good luck!


  10. Dave says:

    Good point Peter. Although we do have a snap shot in time of Nash in the biggest hockey spotlight possible. Agreed, the sample size is small in terms of games, but expectations will arguably never be higher then they were in Vancouver at the Olympics. Hes a gold medal champion on home turf so we know he can handle the pressure and still perform. In fact, 5 points in 7 games is pretty damn good considering he was playing on the second and at times, the third line.


  11. Jake says:

    Nash will be expensive to get and expensive to keep when it comes time to resign a teams other players the salary dumps start and the cost is talent . That is where the Leafs will have problems in the future but without upgrading the talent that future looks bleak .
    Whatever team trades for Nash will face the same problems adjusting their roster .

    Carter is not likely to become a Leaf either since his contract is horrid and his performance is questionable . Although he does bring some toughness and skill .

    In the end I expect Burke to make a low ball attempt to get Nash and settle for some one else .

    JVR like Nash is a winger so some line jugling would have to be done . Carter is a center and would allow Burke to trade Grabovski if it he is not resigning .

    Either way things can’t get any worse for the Leafs and other clubs balance huge contracts and it is time for the Leafs to get better . The question comes down to cost and 2 roster players , 2 prospects and 2 draft picks is way too high for Nash .

    If Nash , Brassard and Carter are all that good how is it Columbus is in the basement ? My biggest worry on these guys they know how to lose .

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