With the near certainty that Rick Nash will be traded, contending teams are lining up in hopes of landing the prize piece at this year’s trade deadline.
The list of suitors for the star forward is apparently short but they are all reported to be high-profile teams either considered to be Stanley Cup front-runners or playoff-fringe teams hoping to boost their chances.
Unless he ends up on your favourite team, you are likely to be disappointed, but if he ends up on any of the following teams as expected then you might just blow a gasket.
Here are the top 5 teams that, unless of course you are a fan of, you do not want to see Nash go to.
5. Los Angeles Kings: A trendy cup pick coming into the season, the Kings have been largely a disappointment up to this point. Clinging to a playoff spot in the West, LA hasn’t quite received the production from their big off-season acquisition Mike Richards, who in his defense, hasn’t always been blessed with the greatest of linemates. In order to get Nash to be his new running mate, the Kings would likely have to part ways with a prospect or two as well as defenceman Jack Johnson who is being mentioned as potential trade bait for Nash or his Columbus teammate Jeff Carter.
Either way, no one is going to be too thrilled to see another star player heading to Tinsel Town.
4. Boston Bruins: Not many would have expected the Bruins to be in the mix for such a high-profile player at the deadline but the injury to Nathan Horton and their recent struggles have made it a realistic possibility. Still unsure of the extent of Horton’s injury for the present and going forward, the defending cup champs could look to solidify their top two lines by adding Nash; something that would certainly strike a lot of fear into any potential playoff opponent.
3. Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers biggest issues are on the blueline but that might not stop them from pursuing Nash. With a wealth of young talent, the most likely player to be sent to Columbus would be James Van Riemsdyk, and although it seems unlikely, promising rookies like Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier could also be in play.
Outside the city of brotherly love, there isn’t much love at all for the Flyers, and their acquiring of a star player like this would only raise the ire of fans around the league.
2. New York Rangers: A move from Columbus to New York would be quite the change for Nash who has become used to flying under the radar. Despite already proving themselves as an elite team and a cup threat, the Rangers have gone through stretches where goals have been hard to come by. Acquiring Nash is expected to cost them Brandon Dubinsky and prospects, but adding a gamebreaker might just be the final piece to the puzzle.
Should he end up in NY, overnight sensation Jeremy Lin will have a new stage-partner on Broadway.
1. Toronto Maple Leafs: While the prospects of Nash landing in the mecca of the hockey world might at first seem exciting to those even outside of the Leafs Nation, it would take about two minutes of the constant hype and chatter to change that excitement into resentment.
While likely not Nash’s first choice, the fact that he is a local guy who grew up cheering for the Leafs definitely doesn’t hurt their chances. Working against them though is the enormous amount of pressure that he knowingly will face; something that a quiet, reserved personality like Nash might not be up for.
Resident of Windsor, Ontario. Extensive knowledge of both the NHL and junior hockey in Canada, particularly the OHL. Writer for THW covering the Winnipeg Jets and the OHL as well as covering Phoenix Coyotes prospects for Hockey’s Future.