Teams in need of some additional goal scoring may wind up looking to the New York Rangers this summer, as one of their better scorers appears to be on the trade market.
On Saturday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman stated during his Headlines segment that the Rangers may be shopping forward Rick Nash this offseason. It seems that a few teams have already asked about the possibility of acquiring him.
“He has a 12-team list that he can be dealt to and there seems to be a little bit of smoke to this one,” explained Friedman. “I think they’ve been asked. I think they’d be willing to do it under the right circumstances.
“However, there’s a couple things here. No. 1, he’s got a $7.8 million cap hit for two more seasons — how would that work? And No. 2 , while he struggled this year the Rangers really defended him. They felt that Nash played hurt and that affected his totals and I think they do look at it and say if he’s healthy next year he could be much more effective. But he’s going to be a name and the Rangers are going to be a team to watch.”
Nash saw his production drop significantly this season, as he struggled with injuries throughout the 2015-16 campaign. he missed two games in November because of a back injury and 20 games from January to March because of a nagging knee injury. He managed only 15 goals and 36 points in 60 games this past season.
Despite his glaring drop in production this season, the 31-year old is just one year removed from a 42 goal campaign.
One issue standing in the way of a possible deal is Nash's enormous cap-hit, and the fact that Nash can block a trade to 18 of the NHL's teams. If a trade were to be made, there is a good chance that the Rangers would be asked to absorb a portion of Nash's $7.8 million dollar salary, much like the Toronto Maple Leafs did when they dealt forward Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
If the Rangers were to pull off a deal for Nash, it is likely they would then be in the running to acquire star forward Steven Stamkos, as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
This is going to be a situation to watch closely this offseason.