TRADE ANALYSIS: RANGERS BIG WINNERS AS THEY SURRENDER NO SIGNIFICANT ASSETS
The long awaited Rick Nash trade to the New York Rangers is a done deal and Nash is officially a Ranger, months after a similar deal that Blue Jackets got today was also on the table during the trade deadline.
The trade announced this afternoon is a multi-player deal that has the Rangers receiving Nash from the Blue Jackets, in exchange for forwards Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov,¬†defenseman Tim Erixon and a 2013 first round pick.
Dubinsky, 26, had a down year with 10 goals and 24 assists in 77 games last season. Dubinsky is an effective two-way player who can be a factor in several areas, and if he bounces back offensively, the Blue Jackets are getting a top-9 forward who can play center and wing, and put up 20 goals. In Anisimov, the Blue Jackets are getting a skilled forward with top-6 ability, although Anisimov is one of those tweeners who flashes top-6 ability but isn't consistent enough to be an impact top-6 forward. Anisimov had 16 goals and 20 assists in 79 games, and had a career high 18 goals in 2010-2011. Erixon, 21, is a former first-round pick of the Calgary Flames who appeared in 18 games with the Rangers last season.
On paper the return isn't good enough for a premier power forward in the game who is a consistent 30 goal player and a former 40 goal scorer that is under contract for the next six years and just 28 years old. The Blue Jackets though got solid value when you put all factors on the table from Nash's cap hit and his no trade list, in that they receive two quality NHLers in Dubinsky, Anisimov, and likely three¬†¬†with Erixon who scouts believe has the makeup to be an impact top-6 defenseman.
Overall, though, the Rangers, a cup contender, were big winners today in the deal in that they got the best player in the deal and most importantly didn't give up any significant assets from their NHL roster or down the road as the 2013 first round pick is in all liklihood going to be a late first rounder.
The Rangers core on the blueline remains in place as they didn't surrender one of their top-4 defensemen in Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, or Marc Staal, while the Blue Jackets also failed to nab any of the top Rangers top young forwards in Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin, which was big for the Rangers as Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson held a hard line for months and months seeking top tier young forwards in the mold of Logan¬†Couture from San Jose and the likes of Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan from the Rangers.
Rangers GM Glen Sather never blinked, held firm and at the end of the day, didn't surrender one of the seven players mentioned as Howson blinked first.
When evaluating the Rangers roster prior to the Nash trade, the consensus is the Blue Jackets acquired the Rangers 7th and 8th best forwards in Dubinsky and Anisimov, behind the likes of Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, and Carl Hagelin, while Exiron projected as the Rangers likely No. 6 or No. 7 defenseman this season, if he were to crack the NHL roster.
In Nash, the Rangers fill a big need in their top-6 and now have an excellent mix in their top-9 with the likes of Nash, Richards, Gaborik, Callahan, Kreider, Stepan, Hagelin, Taylor Pyatt, and possibly even Shane Doan as the Rangers have emerged as one of the favorites for Doan and intend to continue to pursue Doan as the addition of Nash doesn't affect the Rangers cap situation as Dubinsky, Anisimov and Exiron combined for a cap hit of $7.825 million and Nash carries a $7.8 million cap hit.
"We're happy to have a five time All-Star on our team and a 40-goal scorer, " Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. "He will help us immensely."