"Traded? You mean it? For serious?"

Okay, wow. Deep breaths, all.

First off, I just want to say how glad I am that this is finally over. Not that it wasn’t fun for a while but at least now we can all move on with our lives (somewhere Alexander Semin is nodding gleefully).

Second of all, any way you look at this, the New York Rangers are now terrifying. They are the Walter White of the NHL. Glen Sather is the one who knocks. I don’t know what that makes Scott Howson. Maybe Gale. Point is, the Rangers now have a very, very good hockey team (and they weren’t half bad before). The Rangers can now field a line of Nash-Stepan-Gaborik. Or, if they really want to rub it in, Nash-Richards-Gaborik. Look unto thee and be terrified. This team is going to score a lot of goals, and a lot of them are going to be very, very nice.

This was already a team with, arguably, the best goalie in the NHL, though, I’m sure Jonathan Quick fans would be quick (heh) to dispute that (and they wouldn’t be out of line), a solid defensive corps that is only going to get stronger the older and better Marc Staal gets (his ceiling seriously frightens me) and an offense that scored the 10th most goals in the NHL last season. I don’t think I have to tell you all what adding a player like Rick Nash, whatever your opinion on his “superstar”-level or if he’s still in his prime may be, can and will do for this team. Nash is a guy who has played with nothing for his entire career and it has yet to be seen what he can do with talent surrounding him (I’m not counting Jeff Carter because come on). In the 2010 Olympics, Nash looked right at home surrounded by top-flight talent and it wouldn’t shock me in the least to see that continue with the Rangers.

When looking at the parts going the other way?  Well, it’s actually not that bad. The players going to Columbus are not terrible by any means – Brandon Dubinsky is a solid, if unspectacular, pro who is exactly the kind of tough, grinding centerman that many teams covet (looking at you, Brian Burke). He’s not going to replace Nash’s point output but he will be able to make up for it in knocking opposing players around a little bit. Artem Anisimov is young and can score. He has the potential to score a lot, I think, and he’s also a big boy who can play physical as well. In fact, if you were to combine the play styles of Dubinsky and Anismiov, you’d have a rough approximation of Rick Nash less 20-25 points or so. Tim Erixon is also young. Like, really young. He’s a 90s kid for Christ’s sake. Heading into his draft year, he was ranked 5th amongst European skaters by Central Scouting. I’m not saying that pre-draft rankings mean a whole lot or pan out but you don’t get ranked in the top 5 of anything without at least having some sort of knowledge of what it is you’re doing. He’s obviously not going to pay immediate dividends but a solid, young, puck moving defenseman is nothing to ignore. When you factor in a first round draft pick as well, even though it will likely be a high-20s pick due to what is sure to be a successful season for the Rangers, this deal is nothing to sneeze at. At all.

Now, the elephant in the room has to be Scott Howson. I’ve said my piece on the kind of job I think he’s doing as general manager of the Blue Jackets but, I have to say, this wasn’t a terrible trade that he pulled off. Yes, he totally handicapped himself by totally bungling every possible deal for Nash that came before this. Yes, he overreached on offers for Nash and asked for way, way too much which turned him into a laughing stock. Yes, the way he handled himself and his franchise, from the first Rick Nash rumor to an hour ago has been laughable at best and incompetent at worst. THAT BEING SAID, when looking at the market for Nash through a real world lens (not a Scott Howson lens), he was never going to get much more for Nash than he did today. First of all, Nash is 28. Not old by any standards, but no longer the up-and-coming player that he once was. I’ve heard it said that Nash is past his prime, which I don’t agree with, but he is definitely in the latter half of it. Also, and this cannot be overstated enough, Rick Nash’s contract is atrocious. It’s the kind of contract that would make John Ferguson Jr. go “really?” and the fact that it was moveable at all is kind of a miracle. Through the 2017-2018 season, Nash is owed $7.6M, $7.8M, $7.8M, $7.9M, $8M, and $8.2M. It is the opposite of a front-loaded contract. If popular opinion states that Rick Nash’s play is already on the decline, what’s it going to be like in 6 years? And he’ll still be making $8.2 million.

So, yes, it’s lots of fun to pile on Scott  Howson for being incompetent, because he is, but he really didn’t do too badly for himself this afternoon. He may not have gotten his all-star, impact player but he probably wasn’t going to in the first place. Yeah, he probably could have gotten more at the deadline or if he had just kept his damn mouth shut but this trade really could have been so, so much worse for him. As for next season? We get to watch the Rangers play some, barring injuries & unforeseen terribleness, pretty entertaining hockey and we all get to have the fun of starting pools to see how many points Marion Gaborik can put up with Rick Nash on his line (assuming he ends up on the same line. For our highlight guys, I hope he does).

From a poorly formed metaphor standpoint, I’m personally looking forward to seeing which team will step up to be the Gustavo Fring to the Rangers’ Walter. Cause that’s when things will really get interesting.

***

UPDATE THE FIFTH:

Your full deal, ladies and gentlemen.

UPDATE THE FOURTH:

More things!

UPDATE THE THIRD:

So, that’s that. All of my thoughts are forthcoming.

UPDATE THE SECOND:

I’m refraining from laughing until I see that 4th piece. But I’m getting close.

UPDATE THE FIRST:

All the things are happening.

 ***

Ho, doctor. This is happening, apparently. Finally.

 

True to his word, some details shortly followed.

I can’t wait to see what creative ways Scott Howson has found for us to make fun of him this time.

Comments (41)

  1. Wow. If Howson got anywhere near his asking price, the Rangers just made a big mistake.

  2. Irresponsible Rangers are back. The rest of the Atlantic jumps with joy.

    • Getting Rick Nash is irresponsible? Since when?

      • Since the price was Dubinsky, Anisimov, Erixon, AND a 1st round pick.

        • Yep, completely irresponsible by the Rangers..they’ll have a great 1st line, but that’s a very steep price.

          • I should qualify that by saying: a steep price given the circumstances. Nash publicly said he wanted out, limited where he would go to very few places, etc. The thing was dragging on and on…I bet the Rangers could have gotten a better deal if they had waited a bit longer.

          • With all due respect, you’re high if you think that deal was “completely irresponsible” on the Rangers’ part, considering Uncle Lou’s shitty Kovalchuck deal.

            Dubi and Anisimov were good, but expendable, and Erixon’s a big if. I giveth excrement about the first rounder. Rangers won this deal – they get a strong power forward and scoring depth, and vastly improve their ability on the rush and in the corners. See you clowns in the conference finals.

    • Rangers just bought the Cup. Book it!

  3. nick nash is a great player ,lets see if it was the team he played for ..why he never did much in his career exluding highlight reel goals

    • He has no more excuses. Now he’s got a good playmaking center. I expect at least 2348584584 goals out of him this year.

  4. HOnestly, WHO CARES, wayy too much hype on this guy, this isnt basketball where one player can change a team completely, just a guy helping a line be better. JUST GLAD WE’re ALMOST DONE TALKING BOUT THIS GUY!!!

    • I’ve never understood those that “don’t care” but still find the time to read the article and reply concerning the thing they ‘don’t care” about.

  5. No kreider for Nash man howson is stupid

  6. It’s like the Rangers forgot they’re still paying Wade Redden 6.5 million to play in the AHL.

    • and they are still 11million under the cap. Next Shane Doan.

      • The Rangers can have him too although he will probably stay in Phoenix. Better just hope H. Lundqvist doesn’t get injured. He is the franchise.

  7. This can’t be the asking price teams were scared off, terrible for Jackets. Must have really only been wiling to go to New York, remember when Nash said he wanted to be traded so the team could get something really good back to help with the rebuild- veto the trade than Nash because this deal is horrible.

    • Him saying that was B.S.. Nash cares about Nash. This is just sports. He owes the Jackets nothing and they owe him nothing. End of story.

  8. He has always excelled in international competition while playing with great players, now he’s got no excuse about playing on a bad team

  9. Wow. That’s all it takes to get Nash? Why did this take so long? Jacket’s fans (are there any?) must be furious with their GM. I can only think that the Leafs could have easily bettered this offer and the 1st would have been much higher to boot. I know the Leafs weren’t on his special little list but still can’t help but think of the what if. The rich get richer and the poor desperately hang on to their franchise. Surely the clock is now also ticking in Columbus. We can now resurrect the bitch and moan regarding Hamilton and Quebec in ernest.

  10. Gaborik will definitely not be playing 82 games, seeing as he is scheduled to be out ’till November/December recovering from his recent shoulder surgery.

    • Shoulders are a bad deal. I would be surprised if Gaborik is back by December and then he will be teetering on the edge of being reinjured quite easily. As far as Nash goes, sure he is a good player and will help the Rangers but to me he is somewhat overrated. To say they are now suddenly Cup winners is wishful thinking. IMO if you watch the Rangers play enough, it is always Lundqvist that comes up with the save or two or three that the Rangers still rely on. The overall price for Nash was steep. He is going to have to play very, very well consistently. Have the Rangers improved? Sure. Some. I guess we’ll see how it all plays out.

      • Forgot to add in. The author used terms such as saying that this team is now terrifying for example and that they are going to score lots of goals etc.. That the defense is going to be frightening and the like. According to the way the author has written the article and the terminology used, all the other teams may as well just pack it in now because N.Y. already has it’s name etched on the Cup. I’m not sure of that. He is sure putting alot of faith in the addition of one player as are a few fans. If Nash doesn’t live up to how he is being set up, and he may not because while being a good player, he isn’t a superstar IMO. I would venture to guess that if he was a smaller player he wouldn’t get the worship he gets from many of his fans. Whatever his circumstances were in Columbus and whatever excuses one wants to use, his numbers are not outstanding. O.K. sure, if you take a good player and play him with other good players you would assume that they would all produce well. We have all been discussing Semin and Doan alot. Sorry to say so but IMO, Nash is not what he has been blown up to be and his contract is another one of those that to me don’t line up with his production. All the power to him tho. He made money for the Blue Jackets and he will make money for the Rangers. I think both teams are a little better now and I hope for the N.Y. fans that it all plays out like they are hoping. If things don’t go so well however, that’s a high pedestal to fall from.

  11. I don’t understand. Were the Rangers the only team on his list? The Leafs had the pieces to pull this off.

  12. He went from asking for players like Couture and Skinner, to Dub, Anisimov, Erixon?? I can’t believe he doesn’t get at least 1 of these guys- Stephan, Zotto, McDonagh or Staal, terrible.

    Suprised other teams couldn’t beat this offer or weren’t given the chance.

  13. just crown the rangers cup champs right now i guess it wont be a big change to cheer for anther team who sports blue and white as team colors its a sad day in leafs nation as yet anther supper star go’s to a better team. i wounder if the leafs singed brad Richards last year if maybe Nash would have came home then

  14. Wow Columbus just needs to fold. Or relocate.

  15. It’ll be interesting to see how Nash and Torts get along. Stroking ego’s isn’t exactly a Torts forte.

  16. …I don’t know what’s more irritating, the deal or the comments on it. Rick Nash is a good player, but the Rangers sacrificed a good deal of depth to make this happen, and they also took on a fairly serious contract that will hamper their ability to sign players like Del Zotto, Stepan, McDonagh and Staal. This is not as clear cut as it looks. Dubinsky had a bad year, but he is still a good young center with grit. Anisimov has great hands, and is very young. Erixon has great upside, and a 1st rounder always hurts to give up. We shall see, but I think that Sather made a mistake here.

    • With all due respect, you obviously don’t watch the Rangers.

      Anisimov, very young? He’s 24 – not old, but I think we’ve seen all we can out of him. Dubi, meanwhile, is 20 goals tops; Nash is a consistent 30+ goal guy who can score 40…and he’s done this with crap linemates, no less. The first rounder is worthless to the Rangers at this point, and while Erixon hurts, guys like Staal, DZ, McDonaugh, etc. are blocking his way in the lineup – Erixon would just be rotting away in Hartford next year, serving no use to the team. Trade high, I say.

      As for the cap – so far, the Rangers haven’t had any problems, and the CBA is blowing up anyway. Worry about that stuff in 3 years.

    • The trade was a wash in cap space Dubi Anisimov and Erixon was a 7.825 cap hit and Nash is a 7.8 mil. cap hit. The Rangers are still 11million under the cap. You have to give to get. Columbus got some good players that are young and are good for a rebuilding team. The Rangers got a scorer that they needed to get them over the top. Yes every trade is a little bit of a gamble but it really is good for both teams. Rangers should be again a top team in the league.

    • It’s not as clear cut as it looks at all. I agree, Sather did make a mistake. Maybe Nash will score a goal and set up another and as usual, H. Lundqvist will save the day. We shall see.

  17. It’s kinda funny. I’m yet to see many comments on the fact that Columbus now has three 1st round picks for next years draft. Obviously, we are talking about the Jackets, who don’t have the best drafting record, but it still opens up a lot of possibilities.

    Overall I think the trade is pretty even for both sides and likely the best we would see for what was on offer. New York takes on a hefty contract, but their cap situation is flexible enough they can handle it without issue. Columbus gets some proven guys who will readily contribute, have a familiar face on the team in Prospal and can even be traded if necessary further down the line.

    And Calgary fans get a chuckle at Erixon’s expense. :D

    • They don’t have a good drafting record, but they may have some accuracy by volume with 3 picks.

      • Those 3 first round picks will come to haunt the Rangers down the road. Bad move for a so-so deal now for a future that comes along pretty darn quickly.

  18. As a Rangers fan, I’ve gotta say that I think Gather completely fleeced Howson. Yeah, Nash may not be an elite power forward a la Messier, and we did give up some depth, but I think in the end this is truly a win. The cap hit I’m not worried about, since this year only Del Zotto is really left to sign (next year, though, things might get hairy – Stepan, Hagelin, and McD all have to be resigned). Dubi I think has nearly maxed out his potential; he’s just not a scorer, but rather a glorified 3rd line centerman. Not a bad one, mind you, but still, he is what he is. And particularly with worse linemates, it’s difficult to see him getting any better. Anisimov is the same way, though it’s even less fortunate for him since his ceiling was much higher. But as it is with many Russian players, his effort seemed to not be there a lot of nights, and his consistency suffered greatly for it. That’s really why he was traded. Erixon is a disappointing piece – I loved his play, and thought (still think) that he’s going to be better then Del Zotto, but I guess the difference won’t be too much. And the first is likely a wash, since the Rangers are likely to do quite well this year (knock on wood).

    My question is how this gets done from a CBJ standpoint. I mean, you lose your franchise player, your only true first liner, your only real scorer, and you get… literally nothing to compensate back. Again, no offense to Dubi and AA, whom I both like a lot and will be sorry to see go, but they’re depth players right now. Until they can prove otherwise, I think NYR got the way better end of this deal.

  19. Wouldn’t it be funny if Rick Nash was playing with Wade Redden in two years?

    Honestly, Howson did fairly well considering the corner he was backed into. This was as good as he was probably going to get.

    So many people react to trades in different ways.

    To one fan Rick Nash is an elite player and deserves a king’s ransom. Anything less would mean the GM failed.

    To another fan, Rick Nash has a big contract and limited the trading destinations therefore decreasing his value. Maybe Columbus deserved more than they got for Nash if he was available to the open market..

    Other people believe that Krieder should have been a piece in the trade. Howson probably asked and Sather probably laughed saying “you know you don’t have many options, right?”

    How about we evaluate this trade in 3 years? Everyone tries to evaluate things the day they happen.

    At first glance, in a vacuum, the Rangers got Nash for a low price. However, trades don’t exist in a vacuum.

  20. rangers just got hosed again…what good is nash really…mid 20s…stats dwn 4 years in a row….always among top minus players in league….unless ny hires lemaire as coach….someone who manages 2 get offensive players 2 play both ends of rink….RANGERS GOT HOSED AGAIN…..u dont win cup with 1 trisk pony….eg brett hull….700 plus goals….plus 28 yes plus 28 for his career…1 cup…..and he played on some very good teams

  21. One can discuss the abilities of Nash and his contribution to the Rangers, but they have not changed significantly IMO. All and all, given the details of the trade, they are the same team as they were and just based on this transaction, will be for the next few years. The Rangers are still Torts (wish he would go somewhere like the K.H.L. tho) and H. Lundqvist.

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