Teams have asked about Rick Nash’s availability

Nash (Getty)

Nash (Getty)

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire and the possibility of a Rick Nash deal this summer increases to heat up. The latest around the NHL rumor mill has others continuing to throw some lighter fluid on it.

The latest from Elliotte Friedman came yesterday:

[su_quote cite=”Sportsnet” url=”http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/rangers-star-rick-nash-available-trade/”]“You’re going to hear a lot of wild rumours this year George, I think this is going to be a crazy season for them and one of the first to hit is Rick Nash of the New York Rangers,” Friedman said. “He has a 12-team list that he can be dealt to and there seems to be a little bit of smoke to this one. I think they’ve been asked. I think they’d be willing to do it under the right circumstances.[/su_quote]

This is the first inclination that there have been discussions. Elliotte Friedman would not just speculate and use words like “I think they’ve been asked” if he didn’t know that they HAVE been asked about Nash.

Now, while Friedman didn’t speculate on possible teams he did state that this off-season the Rangers are the team to watch.

Others in the know such as Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey agrees with me that Kevin Shattenkirk in St. Louis lines up as the right circumstance. However, Larry Brooks of the NYPOST feels otherwise.

[su_quote cite=”NYPOST” url=”http://nypost.com/2016/05/21/what-rangers-gm-should-learn-from-carl-hagelin-giant-backfire/”]Does anyone imagine Armstrong or Ken Hitchcock reviewing their team and identifying Rick Nash as the missing link? Didn’t think so.[/su_quote]

I disagree with Larry on this one but I understand his point. The final speculation came in the form of a tweet.

This may be true, as I’m sure the Rangers will at least kick the tires. My take is that Stamkos will be looking for 10-12 million a season with at least 7 years as term. This would be fine if Stamkos were 23-24 years old but he’s 26 (not old by any stretch) but will be coming off a scary blood clot injury. I just don’t think any player is worth that kind of risk for that kind of cap hit.

The conditions are set for what will likely be a transforming summer for the New York Rangers.

Read more on possible lineups here.