It’s a couple hours after the news broke and I’ve had some time to digest what happened. I’m still skeptical but rather than cry about it, I will change my point of view to cautiously optimistic. Basically I’m hoping it works for everyone involved.
I’m going to write a long piece in the next day or two about the guys we lost, but for now I plan to focus on what we got – Rick Nash.
As Glen Sather said in his conference call this afternoon:
“You don’t have many opportunities to make this kind of deal. This is a very important deal to our hockey club.”
He’s right. A player like this doesn’t become available every season. In his nine NHL seasons, the 28-year old has played 674 games scoring 289 goals and totaling 547 points. Pretty sure I don’t need to tell anyone we don’t have many players who have come close to those numbers in their career. (For the record, Gaborik has played 722 games in 11 seasons and scored 324 goals and 647 points while Richards has played 854 games in 11 season for 245 goals and 782 points.)
For those who are wondering why this trade took so long when fans offered these exact same pieces months ago, Sather replied:
“These things take a long time to get negotiated. I’m sure it was difficult for Scott to make the decision to trade him as it was for us to trade the players we did. I think it’s a fair trade for both sides.”
Not sure I agree it’s a fair trade for both sides but what else was Glen going to say? “Scott finally realized I was going to win this deal and gave me Nash on my terms?” I don’t think the Rangers PR department would’ve appreciated that.
Honestly, I don’t want to compare this trade to the Gomez deal as they were two completely different deals. That said, Rangers fans referred to the Gomez deal as the “deal that kept on giving”. That trade basically ended up being Gaborik, McDonagh and Prust for Gomez. (Yes there were other pieces but those were the main ones. Only McDonagh was actually part of the trade.) The reason I am weary is because so far this one is Dubinsky, Anisimov, and Erixon for Nash. That’s already a lot so I hope it stays that way.
As for Nash, he also spoke to the media and said:
“I was very excited. I’m looking forward to this opportunity to be part of something special that they already have going on with the Rangers.
I think they already have one of the top teams in the league, the players they have there are pretty impressive from the goaltending to the defense right on up. I’m happy to be part of the organization and the city.”
Well he’s saying all the right things. Nash also spoke highly about Captain Ryan Callahan during his conference call which, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, he had already spoken to earlier today. Portzline reported that Nash had also spoken with Sather (I believe the two were on separate conference calls), Tortorella, Richards and Lundqvist. (Pretty sure Staal was busy talking to his good friend Dubinsky otherwise I assume as alternate captain he would’ve been on the list as well.)
To sit here and say the Rangers aren’t a better team today than they were yesterday would be foolish. They absolutely are as there was no guarantee what the team would get from the players they gave up – would we see a repeat of last season or would they finally reach their potential? With Nash you are getting a goal scorer, something the Rangers are severely lacking.
I think this quote from Sather sums it when asked what his thoughts were on acquiring Nash:
“We’re happy to have a five-time All-Star on the team, a 40-goal scorer. He’s only 28. He’s one of the better goal scorers in the NHL. He’ll help us immensely.”
Welcome to New York, Rick Nash. Everyone has said you will become a star when surrounded by better players. Can’t wait to see what you can do on Broadway.