An NHL trade deadline deal is apparently possible for Columbus Blue Jackets star Rick Nash, and as always, when a big name comes up as a potential trade piece, the New York Rangers are rumored to be in the mix. That's only more extreme this season, of course, considering the Rangers are the best team in the Eastern Conference and look poised for a deep playoff run.
Could Nash's presence help them? Certainly, but will it be worth giving up the ransom that CBJ general manager Scott Howson will demand? Here's Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter:
Nash is slated to make $7.8 million a year until 2018. That's a hefty contract, and one that would require some movements if the Rangers wanted to fit him under the cap (currently the Rangers have just over $1.5 million in cap space).
The salary can, incidentally, be shed in the trade itself, depending on what Columbus would actually want. If Brandon Dubinsky ($4.2 million) and Wojtek Wolski ($3.8 million) were involved, then the Rangers would free up $8 million in space, actually saving the team $200K in cap space.
Would that be a fair deal? You almost have to think that Columbus would want even more than that for Nash, who has been their franchise player for more than a decade. "Other picks" likely translates to "a high draft pick" considering Howson absolutely doesn't have to sell Nash at this deadline. He'd be silly not to take offers, but unless he's absolutely blown away by one of those offers, there's zero reason to trade him at all.
You can get team-by-team coverage of the 2012 NHL trade deadline from around our network of hockey blogs, with CBJ-specific coverage from The Cannon. For more on the news, rumors and speculation surrounding the trade deadline, subscribe to our StoryStream.