What should the Rangers do with Rick Nash?

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The Rangers have a handful of expensive contracts on their books, and one of them is coming to an end at the end of this season. Rick Nash will be in the final year of his $7.8 million deal when the puck drops on the 2017-18 NHL season. He will be 34 next summer and is most likely already on the “back nine” of his career. And if the Rangers want to really get this team moving in a different direction, they should let the power forward go to free agency when the time comes.

Nash has struggled the last few years with injury problems that have kept him out of the lineup in three of the last four years. He suffered a concussion after an elbow from Brad Stuart at the beginning of the 2013 season. In the 2014 season, Nash was able to play 79 games and returned to the superstar level that the Rangers expected when they acquired him. But the following year, Nash had to deal with muscle spasms that caused him to miss a quarter of the Rangers season. And this season, he had to deal with a nagging groin injury.

And because of these injury issues, his production has slipped significantly. Now, that can be expected as a player nears the end of his career. But for Nash, he went from producing around 60 points or more per year in Columbus to 40 points at a maximum in three of his five seasons with the Blueshirts. 

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So what can the Rangers do with their alternate captain? Well, not much actually. Nash has both a full no-move clause and a modified no-trade clause in his contract. Meaning that he can’t be waived or sent down to the minors (not that he’d be anyway) without his consent, and he can only be traded to the twelve teams he selects. Even if Nash has a renaissance year with the Blueshirts and puts up huge offensive numbers, he isn’t going to want to take a pay cut in his next contract. As I said before, Nash is making $7.8 million this year and for it to make sense for the Rangers, that number would have to go down to somewhere in the $4-5.5 million range.

This will, in all likelihood, be Rick Nash’s curtain call season on Broadway. He has done a good job in his time with the Rangers but never reached his full capabilities. He showed signs of the power forward he once was this season but wasn’t able to convert on many of his chances. Nash will be looking to show the Rangers, and the rest of the NHL, what he can do in this contract year. But what he won’t be doing, is suiting up for the Rangers after the 2017-18 season.

 

7 comments

  • Robert G Dillon

    If he does have a good year we will have to consider moving him as a rental at the trade deadline. This all depends on whether or not the Rangers are poised to make a deep playoff run. If not then we should definitely trade him.

  • He’ll make a nice “rental” for some team at the end of this season. That way, maybe we can get something for him.

  • theres quite a few big name centers id like to pick up next off season if theyre not resigned by then….Turris,Statsny Michael Latta just to name a few…any of those id like to trade nash for if theyre willing to part with any of these guys!! Either way next year is our year since we aint getting that #1 center this year we needed this off season.

  • If San Jose wants Nash before mid year trade deadline , I’d want Hertl ( C, Rw ) in return He is a RFA making 3 million next year . I’d even throw in a 6th defenseman , which San Jose needs ?
    Thornton, couture pavelski and ward all have NTC ‘s clauses and I am not sure Rangers are on their list of tradable teams ?!
    I would make a Pavelski ( 2 more years at 6 million ) for Nash ( 1 year at 7.8 million )Trade , but San Jose most likely wouldn’t .
    Entertaining thought !!

  • All the statistics enumerated above fail to include the biggest of all!!! IN THE PLAYOFFS HE STINKS!!!!!
    No excuses, no reasons. He just STINKS!! And since he is effective during the regular season, the team is built around his scoring, so unless he plays in the playoffs, all the cohesiveness of the team would be really destroyed.
    It’s a catch22 for the coaches, and a bad situation for the team.
    He should have been gone long ago!

  • Would you trade Nash with one year left on his contract? Say for Phil Kessel with five years left and an AAV of 8 mil? One thing about Kessel over the last two years he has something like 45 points in 49 games in the playoffs. Would you do it?

    P.S. Kessel turns 30 in October.

  • Pittsburgh wouldn’t take him for kessel straight up especially if he ONLY has a yr left…i would trade him to do for couture or another one of their centers and I’d give up Hayes as well in that trade because he sucks..

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