When Rick Nash gave Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson a list of teams where he would accept a trade to waive his no-trade clause, it was to little or no surprise that the Boston Bruins were on the list.
Nash has unquestionably been one of the Blue Jackets’ only bright spots in his nine seasons with the team; scoring 40-plus goals on two occasions (41 2003-04 and 40 2008-09) and 30-plus goals four times (38 in 2007-08, 33 in 2009-10, 32 in 2010-11 and 31 in 2005-06). But there’s plenty of reasons to think that the Black and Gold should take a pass on the first overall pick of the 2002 Entry Draft.
With Columbus in full seller mode this trade deadline period, Nash is someone that Howson is looking to unload (along with Jeff Carter, who they acquired in the off-season from the Philadelphia Flyers). The 27-year-old has six years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $7.8 million per season. Should the Bruins acquire Nash he would be the highest paid player on the team.
According to Cap Geek, the Bruins have a little over $10 million in cap space so its not a question of whether or not they can afford the contract, but rather which pieces would they have to move to acquire Nash.
The Bruins have struggled without Nathan Horton (concussion), averaging 1.88 goals per game in the last eight games. So it’s no surprise that Peter Chiarelli and company are looking to add some depth up front — and perhaps on the blue-line — to gear up for another run at the Stanley Cup.
Chiarelli has done a great job managing the cap and finally has some leverage compared to year’s past. Nash would undoubtedly add some scoring touch to the lineup, but there’s also a concern about playing in a big market like Boston. After all, he has rarely seen the spotlight in his career with Columbus with only one playoff appearance under his belt and how he would react to the pressure in a hockey hotbed would easily be a topic of discussion upon his arrival.
A Nash for David Krejci, Benoit Pouliot and Joe Corvo trade won’t cut it (even though The Hub of Hockey would most likely approve this trade). The Black and Gold most likely need to add the likes of Douggie Hamilton, Tuukka Rask (an RFA at the end of the year) and another prospect for Howson to even consider.
Several reports indicate a thin market for Deadline Day on Feb. 27. With Tummo Ruutu injured, Ray Whitney in a middle of a playoff push and Mike Knuble reportedly off the market according to Caps GM George McPhee (via Pro Hockey Talk), the names won’t be as prominent as year’s past.
Nash is the biggest name on the market and will most likely get dealt to a team that is on his list that also includes the Flyers, Rangers and Sharks (just to name a few).
Chiarelli, however, should say thanks, but no thanks.