By Brian Monzo
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It came down to the last minute, but at the end of the trade deadline on Monday, the Rangers moved on without Rick Nash. However, not without effort.
Reports indicate that Rangers general manager Glen Sather offered up forward Brandon Dubinsky along with top prospect defenseman Tim Erixon, 2010 second-round pick Christian Thomas, 2011 first-round pick JT Miller and their upcoming 2012 first-round pick. Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson declined the offer. You really have to question his ability to run a team after passing on this mammoth offer.
I’ve gone on the record with saying I was all for Nash. I would have signed up for the above deal, knowing the Rangers were losing some promising players but ending up with a dominant forward in Nash.
A few people asked me if I would have added Rangers top prospect Chris Kreider to that deal. I wouldn’t have. From there I was berated with the argument that I was all for Nash. I was, but I wouldn’t have included Kreider in that deal.
Would I have removed Miller and Thomas and added Kreider? Without a doubt. But recent history indicates that Rangers prospects turn into effective NHL players. Would I would have traded Dubinsky, Kreider, Erixon and a pick for Nash? Yes. But Sather was right in not trading four promising NHL players.
It’s no secret the Rangers have built a heck of a group of prospects. Players like Ryan Callahan, Dubinsky, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, Mike Sauer, Carl Hagelin and that guy who plays in net were all drafted by the Rangers. New York has shown an uncanny ability to scout great prospects.
The Rangers’ offer was more than fair, and the Blue Jackets likely hurt their future by declining. Now the Rangers can move on (they can always revisit the Nash situation at the draft when he is likely to be dealt) with top prospects in line. They also have the option now of bringing Kreider to the pro roster in April after the college hockey season.
They did add hard-hitting defenseman John Scott from the Chicago Blackhawks for a fifth-round pick. Scott will help in games against the Bruins and the other physical teams in the East.
Last night the Rangers faced off against the Devils and came away with a 2-0 win, with Henrik Lundqvist getting his eighth shutout of the season. The Rangers are now 40-15-5 heading into Thursday with a matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Rangers will now make their run in the playoffs with this team, without Nash. They are going to need all their players to step up with the scoring, and a player like Dubinsky needs to find ways to get on the scoreboard.
No Nash — for now. Maybe Kreider, however, come April…
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Rangers fans, were you all in for Nash? Did Sather make the right move? Sound off below…