Jeff Riger: Should Wings Make Dash For Nash?
I love this time of year!
As the NHL trade deadline approaches we are inundated with the most bizarre and unrealistic trade rumors, most of which never come to fruition. In fact I just saw a great one hours ago, as there is now chatter of the Sabres sending goalie Ryan Miller to the Blackhawks in exchange for Buffalo native Patrick Kane. Chicago can’t win of late while the Sabres no doubt would love a forward that has the capability of gathering 90 plus point seasons. But more than likely it won’t happen. It makes for a great debate but is it really worth it for each team?
Kane only has 12 goals this season so fans want to run him out of town, but he is only 23 years old and is part of the foundation that hoisted a cup 2 years ago in the Windy City. As for Miller, he is 31 and has played in Buffalo his entire career. Goalies are hard to come by so why would the Sabres really part with their 2010 Vezina trophy winner?
Again, usually these must read and talked about deals NEVER happen, but that of course doesn’t mean that they can’t.
Which leads me to the topic of this blog…Rick Nash?
In case you haven’t heard by now, the Columbus Blue Jackets are awful and their star forward might be on the move. There used to be 2 reasons to watch Columbus play hockey, one was Nash and the other was goalie Steve Mason who won the Caulder trophy his rookie year, only to regress year after year afterwards.
Well Mason is on the trade block which is no surprise, but so is Nash, reportedly which is a huge shock, at least to me as the deadline approaches.
Nash has 18 goals this year and 39 points and has the ability to play on most teams top lines. The only downside to the Brampton, Ontario native is that he is usually a minus player, which actually might say more about his team than himself. Currently Nash is a -22, he is a -74 for his career. But plus/minus aside, the man is a beast and would instantly help any team, especially in the post season.
So would Detroit have a chance?
Now I know what you are thinking! If the Tigers could go out and sign a guy like Prince Fielder, something that nobody thought was possible than why can’t the Wings, who are owned by the same guy make a deal for Nash? Right? Not a chance!
As much fun as it is to think about the impact that Nash would make and what it would be like to throw him on the power play or have him play with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, nobody ever brings up what it would take to get such a talented player. Sure people will call our station and throw out names, but those deals are pure fantasy. How many times have you been listening to “97.1 The Ticket” and hear a caller suggest giving up Ramon Santiago, Brandon Inge and cash for the likes of Roy Halliday? Fans set their eyes on a player and think that the team trading said player will take anything in return. It’s just not reality!
So for all the Wings fans that have thought that Detroit should go out and make Nash a Detroiter, unfortunately I’m here to tell you NO! Let me explain.
If the Wings were to make a deal for Nash it would take breaking up the current core of Detroit that just set a record with 21 consecutive home wins and of course has the most points in the game as well. I would assume Ken Holland has already called Columbus to gage interest and realized the talent he would have to give up would be way too much.
I don’t know for a fact, but if Detroit were to actually get Nash, I assume prospect Brendan Smith, Valteri Filpula, Gustav Nyquist, and Darren Helm or Justin Abdelkader would be involved. Would you be willing to give that up? I wouldn’t!
The way I see it is Nash would be a fantastic addition, but simply not worth the asking price. Things seem to be working great without the likes of the forward and while the potential is there, I would rather move forward with the team that has already provided the success that it has. If Nash were to come here, there might be a transition period and considering the hole he would create that would need to be filled by less experienced players, I don’t think he is worth it.
Of course there is also the financial aspect as well.
Nash brings with him a close to an 8 million dollar cap hit and he has 6 more years on his deal. Detroit already has big money players in Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, could they afford another one? I’m not sure! A trade to fit everyone in might be necessary after the season, meaning somebody of value would have to be dealt for less expensive players or draft picks.
I’m not saying that the Wings will not be active at the trade deadline because I fully believe they will, however I would expect the team to go the route of a rental player rather than a guy that has a huge existing contract no matter how good he is.
Of course Nash has a “no movement” clause and Columbus is in transition and the general thought is that if Nash were to be dealt the worth could be higher for him in the off season rather than at the deadline. Also could the current administration deal the only super star the team has on their way out of town? I’m not sure ownership would allow that! After all, any deal that is made would have to look good to the Columbus faithful, considering they are losing their star. Most trades include draft picks and prospects, for Nash it would take NHL ready pieces for sure.
Last I checked the Flyers, Canucks, Rangers and Leafs are the front runners to land Nash if he is traded, should the Wings join the chase? If not Nash who else would you want Holland to go out and land?
Oh, one more thing…
Holland is a GM stud, so if he were to pull off a deal for Nash without giving up anything too huge, I would not be surprised at all, in fact I would be ecstatic like every other Wings fan out there.
Bottom line, from this point on, things are about to get real fun!