Rick Nash was a healthy scratch for the New York Rangers in their Feb. 22 game against the Montreal Canadiens. The team is making it apparent they will be sellers at the NHL trade deadline and Nash is one of the most coveted assets because of his contract situation. He will be a free agent this offseason.
Nash recently sent the Rangers his no-trade list, according to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie. The list contains 18 teams the Rangers cannot trade Nash to, under the terms of his limited no trade clause. The Rangers now have the greenlight to trade Nash to any of the other 12 teams in the NHL not on his list.
The Rangers will play one more game before the deadline, on Feb. 25 against the Detroit Red Wings. The NHL trade deadline is set for Feb. 26 at 3 pm.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Rangers Are Sellers At The Trade Deadline
It’s been a rough season for the blueshirts, and the selling has already begun. After the team’s Feb. 22 loss against the Canadiens, the Rangers announced they traded leading scorer Michael Grabner to the crosstown-rival New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Yegor Rykov and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
It’s the first domino to fall in what’s expected to be a busy trade deadline for the Rangers, who now have eight picks in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, including five picks in the first three rounds. The team started to raise eyebrows on Feb. 22 when they Grabner and Rick Nash were both healthy scratches in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. Nash will most likely be the next domino to fall.
2. Nash Has a Limited No-Trade Clause
Nash’s no-trade clause means he can submit a list to the Rangers which contains 18 teams he cannot be traded to. This no-trade list provides a green light to the Rangers for the other 12 remaining teams in the NHL. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Nash has already submitted his no-trade list to the club.
While we aren’t sure which teams are on Nash’s no-trade list, we can most likely rule out a few. According to Larry Brooks, Nash’s no-trade list in 2016 included all Canadian teams, so Nash is most likely to remain with a team based in the U.S. According to Brooks, the Predators, Stars, Blues, Sharks, Penguins and Blue Jackets (Nash’s former team) are all rumored to be in mix.
3. His Contract Situation Makes Him an Ideal Trade Target
In 2010, Nash signed an 8-year, $62.4 million dollar contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. That contract is set to expire at the end of this season. Which sets up an opportunity for Nash to be a short-term rental to whichever team trades for him.
The Rangers have also said they would be open to picking up half of the remainder of Nash’s contract, according to Larry Brooks. The more money the Rangers are willing to pick up, the better return they will likely get for Nash in the open market.
4. Nash Has Played 6 Seasons For The Rangers
On July 23, 2012, Nash was traded from the Blue Jackets to the Rangers. New York also received Steven Delise and Columbus’ 3rd round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, which they used to take Pavel Buchnevich. In return, the Rangers sent Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a 1st round pick (Kerby Rychel) to Columbus.
During his six seasons with the Rangers, he scored 142 goals and added 107 assists in 368 regular season games. He has also tallied 38 points in 73 postseason games.
5. His Family Doesn’t Want to Leave New York
It would be the biggest disappointment for Nash, besides not winning the Stanley Cup. “Sometimes these things don’t happen, and we can move on and everything would be great. I could stay a Ranger, live in New York and it’s the best,” Nash told the NY Daily News.
Nash and his family have settled into New York City over the last six years. Rick and his wife Jessica have two young children. His three-year-old-son McLaren loves cheering on the Rangers.
“I have no idea how I’m gonna explain to my son that he can’t cheer for the Rangers,” Nash told NYDN. “That definitely went through my head. Every time he sees a goal he starts singing the song. It’s tough, but it’s the reality. It’s the business side of it. When you go through certain things of where you can end up, you definitely think about your family and kids, and the best situation to win. It’s tough.”