|Posted on July 26, 2012 at 2:15 PM|
After much anticipation and speculation, the Rick Nash deal is finally complete. So what does today's trade mean to the New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and the rest of the league?
In terms of New York, John Tortorella's squad adds the elite forward they were looking for. Sure, they had Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik in place, but mixing Nash in there could feasibly be enough to push them to the next level. At the very least, a lineup with Henrik Lundqvist in goal and that trio doing work up front will be a serious contender in arguably the most difficult division in hockey. It also means the Philadelphia Flyers could use Shea Weber even more now than ever to help shut down some of the highly skilled offensive weapons in the Atlantic.
For Columbus, this has to be a bittersweet day across the board. Everyone knew a deal was coming, but it's still tough to watch the face of the franchise leave town. Especially considering the excitement level around this organization just a year ago when they added Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski to a lineup led by Nash. If there's any consolation for fans of the Blue Jackets, at least their former captain is heading east. That means Columbus will only face him once this season (April 5).
Columbus also managed to get some decent players in the deal. Considering a trade was all but imminent, prying Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon and a first round pick away from New York isn't awful. Are any of those guys Rick Nash? No. But Anisimov has shown potential and Dubinsky is someone who can contribute up front. Plus, in the big picture, at least the Jackets are assembling some solid blue line depth now. Erixon was widely considered the Rangers' top prospect. Now he joins a group in Columbus that features Wisniewski and Jack Johnson, as well as vets like Fedor Tyutin and Adrian Aucoin. Plus, Ryan Murray -- the top blueliner taken in the 2012 draft -- is on the way as well. And that's not even accounting for David Savard, one of Columbus' top overall prospects who just happens to be a rearguard as well.
At the end of the day, the Rangers have a perennial 30-40 goal scorer that they can plug in up front. And the Blue Jackets continue to assemble a defense that they hope can start pulling them back to relevance in the highly competitive Western Conference.
Categories: NHL News