Rick Nash Trade Rumors: Columbus Blue Jackets Could Turn Star Captain Into Franchise Goalie

If there's one major need for the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2012 NHL trade deadline, it's that of a goaltender. A legitimate, strong, young, NHL goaltender who can man the pipes in Columbus for at least the next five years, if not longer.

If general manager Scott Howson decides to trade Rick Nash, their star captain and the face of their franchise, should getting that goaltender in return be the priority? Jackets blog The Cannon believes it should:

The Jackets will be replacing Steve Mason. The free agent market is thin on goalies this off-season, and even if they have their eye on a player, the chance of signing them without grossly overpaying is slim. Remember the Mike Commodore and Kristian Huselius contracts?

So it makes the most sense to find a goalie by trade, and who would command a better return than Rick Nash? Of teams rumored to have interest in Nash, the Kings could offer Jonathan Bernier and the Canucks could pick their future with Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider. Both teams also have some defensemen that would interest the Jackets and could certainly include a pick or prospect as both teams have their eyes on the Stanley Cup.

Schneider or Bernier or even Sergei Bobrovsky in Philadelphia would all be solid options for the Blue Jackets, and probably in that order too. The only question would be a) what else would Columbus demand those teams give up, and b) would Nash, who has a no-trade clause in his pocket, accept a trade to those cities?

Unanswered, as of now.

You can get team-by-team coverage of the 2012 NHL trade deadline from around our network of hockey blogs. For more on the news, rumors and speculation surrounding the trade deadline, subscribe to our StoryStream.

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