FullTilt Flashbacks: The Rick Nash Trade, Five Years Later
The Rangers have always tried to land a big player whenever the opportunity has surfaced, via trade, or free agency. Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Kevin Shattenkirk, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Phil Esposito, the list goes on. In 2012, the Rangers traded Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon, and their 2013 first round pick, in exchange for Blue Jacket captain Rick Nash and Steven Delisle.
Columbus Blue Jackets
With the 60th overall pick of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers selected Alaska native Brandon Dubinsky. In his second season, with the Wolfpack, Dubinsky posted 43 points (21G, 22A) in 71 games. He also had a whopping 115 penalty minutes. The next season, he played six games with the Rangers only registering two penalty minutes. The season after, he played all 82 games with the Rangers netting 40 points. Since the 2012 trade, his numbers have stayed around the same compared to his Ranger years.
In 2006, the Rangers drafted Artem Anisimov 54th overall. In his first two seasons with the Pack, Anisimov combined for 124 points, 53 of which were goals. The 6’4″ centerman, in three seasons with the Rangers, had 108 points. Similar to Dubinsky, Artem’s numbers have stayed around the same. His point average with the Rangers was 36, after the trade, his average point total is 34.2. The Rangers have been trying to acquire another centerman, and I would love to have Artem back. He is 29 years old and is currently playing on the cap burdened Blackhawks. The Hawks are over the cap and if they were to move Artem, they would gain around 4.55 million in cap space.
Tim Erixon, the 23rd overall pick of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, never turned into the defenseman the Rangers thought he would be. He spent the last two seasons in the AHL and in 92 NHL games, he has 14 points.
2013 First Round Pick
The Rangers also traded their 2013 first round pick which Columbus used to select Kerby Rychel. The 22-year-old was drafted 19th overall and is now with the Toronto Marlies. In 37 NHL games, Rychel had 12 points.
New York Rangers
There isn’t much to say about Delisle. He was drafted 107th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He is a big defender. He played well in the QMJHL but never made it to the NHL. He spent last season in the ECHL.
Rick Nash was the first overall pick of the 2002 NHL Entry. In his first two seasons in the OHL, Rick teared it up with 138 points in 112 games. Drafted by the Blue Jackets, Rick put up all-star numbers every year with Columbus. In nine seasons with the Blue Jackets, Nash scored 289 goals and 258 assists for 547 points, and won the Rocket Richard trophy for the most goals in the NHL, in his sophomore season.
Since coming to New York, Nash has had injury issues in all but one season. In that season, Rick scored 42 goals. In five seasons with the Rangers, Nash hasn’t quite hit the points pace he had with the Jackets. He did have a larger role in Columbus but his point totals with the Rangers are not worth the $7.8 million he commands, the second largest contract on the Rangers behind Henrik Lundqvist.
This is his last season under contract with the Rangers, after that, he becomes a UFA. If Nash wants to play on Broadway next season, he will have to take a pay cut, which is why I do not see him re-signing with the Rangers. In order for the Rangers to get anything for him, I think the Rangers would have to trade him at the deadline to a team who really wants to make a playoff push. The only problem is, Rick is essential to a Ranger team that wants to make a playoff push themselves, which is why the Rangers will likely get nothing for him. Unfortunately, the Rangers will not really be able to use the cap space to sign another player because they will have ten free agents they have to deal with, most notably J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, and Brady Skjei. This is Rick’s season to prove what he is worth so that he can command millions on the free-agent market.
Who won this trade?
The Players Columbus gained surpass the production of Rick Nash. However, Nash is easily New York’s best two-way player. Without Nash, New York is not as scary.