Rick Nash was a thorn in the Blues’ side when he was with the Columbus Blue Jackets. That was six years ago - since then, he’s been with the New York Rangers. And steadily, over the last six seasons, the 33 year old’s production has been dropping. His high point came in 2014-2015, where he scored 42 goals and 27 assists. So far this season in 52 games, he has 15 goals and 10 assists.
The writing is on the wall, as the Rangers asked Nash to submit a list of 12 teams that he would accept a trade to. The trade deadline is three weeks away, and despite how sad Nash might be about submitting that list, it looks like the Rangers would like to move him as a rental for some assets. The Rangers have had a rough season - they’re last in the Metro but still two points out of playoff contention - and while they’re not in full rebuild mode, they’d probably still like to jettison a rental to get a prospect or young player.
He’s got a whopping $7.8 million dollar cap hit (soon to fall next season, as there is no way a team extends him that kind of money). The Blues would probably have to unload a promising young prospect at the very least to get him. Extra scoring and playoff experience are always appreciated, but how much can we expect from an aging forward having a down season?
There’s also the small matter of the list - are the Blues even on it? Nash said he selected teams based on their chances of winning the Stanley Cup. The Blues have been up and down a bit this year; would this qualify them for the honor?
Rick Nash would’ve looked great in a Blue Note five years ago. Now? There are probably more useful trade deadline acquisitions that the Blues can look toward, though managing worthwhile players and their cap hits would be tough without unloading a higher paid player in a deal.