With Rick Nash all over the news this week, hockey media everywhere have been wondering where he’d be a good fit. The question’s been asked many times, specifically about the New York Rangers – “Would you want to mess with your team chemistry at this point of the season?”

It’s fair to assess how things would change on the ice, because we don’t know. But in the dressing room, there’s one great fact: great guys can’t ruin locker room chemistry. Those with high beerability can only add good things, and I assumed Nash had a good rating. But then I really started to think about it…

It’s tough, because he’s played for one of the least-covered team’s in the NHL, so we don’t have a lot to go on. Just some vague All-Star Game interviews, a few post-game sound bites. He’s never in the news off-ice.

Here’s what we have to assess Rick Nash’s beerability:

* He seems like an extremely level-headed guy. Never says anything too inflammatory, he’s pretty professional. And that’s not a negative on the beerability scale. Being smart is a plus. +1

* The fact that he “doesn’t like attention” (apparently) is a full-on negative. It’s preferred in everyday life, but if we’re going out for just one night looking for laughs, I don’t see Rick as the shirt-off dancing-on-the-bar type. -1

* There’s a goofy element to Nash that makes him likable, like Andy on Parks and Rec. In fact, he sort of looks like him when he sports a beard. Anytime you get compared to Andy, it’s a definite +1.

* Usually guys can bury their personalities and stay uninteresting to reporters (which makes the players life easier as a trade for making the reporter’s harder), but there’s usually at least a flare-up here and there, a wry smile to let us know that at the very least, he’s just playing the game, but “gets it.” Nash has been in the NHL for nine years now - while maybe it’s just him playing in Columbus, I still don’t think we’ve seen those moments happen.

* He was once willing to do this, which counts for something…

…so +1.

* He operates kinda slow off the ice. I don’t want to say it’s a lack of passion, just maybe a lack of…zest? Yeah. Not a whole lot of pizzazz there – I can see a bit of Buzz Killington in him. -1

If you can’t see where I’ve been going with this….Nash is a tough call.

Verdict:

I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, and say that the beer mug is slightly more than half-full (as in, his beerability rating is over 50%), but his blandness won’t allow me to fill the glass any higher than that.

Columbus fans, what am I missing? Does Nash have more beerability than I think?

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(Update: After recording the podcast, the consensus was that a guy with a semi-double chin and a neckbeard probably likes to get after it. Good point that I missed.)