The Rangers just got a whole hell of a lot better. Reportedly the trade is Rick Nash, a 3rd round draft pick, and a minor league defenseman for Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, and a 1st rounder (in a very deep draft).
We just brought in an elite player. I’m a numbers guy, usually, but in this case, the numbers flat out lie. Why? If you look at Rick Nash you have to look at it this way. He is the all time leading scorer for a franchise that has never brought him ANYTHING to play with. He’s a legitimate 30/30 guy if you put him with the likes of David Vyborny and Manny Malhotra…imagine what he could be with guys like Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik? Or if you put him with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider or Ryan Callahan and match him up against the other teams 2nd best line. Which line do you shut down? The one with Gaborik and Richards? or the one with Stepan and Nash?
Who did we give up?
Brandon Dubinsky, a guy who, let’s face it, as a SOLID 3rd liner with 50 point potential. Plays the boards well, can dominate for stretches and can utterly disappear for stretches.
Artem Anisimov, a guy who is also a 3rd liner, and who often times drew the ire of our head coach. He’s a good kid, I love his game, but he’s more of a 15 goal, 50 point player himself.
Tim Erixon, a very good prospect, but one in an area where the Rangers are set for decades to come.
A first in a very deep draft. Sucks, especially since Clark is such a fantastic drafter, but you have to give to get.
All this for a guy who can legitimately put up 40 goals year in and year out. A guy who has scored 30 goals every year in 7 of the last 8 years which includes a 27 goal affair in 75 games, and a guy who has done all of this playing high leverage minutes with players who wouldn’t even crack the Rangers top 9 lineup next season. He’s never played with anyone as dynamic as Derek Stepan, leave alone Brad Richards. He’s never had a legitimate 40 goal teammate like he does now in Marian Gaborik. He’s a power forward, big size, outstanding speed, incredible hands, underrated vision, phenomenal board player, and has a sick shot. In short, he’s an elite player. I’ve coveted him on the Rangers for a long time. He’s a better player than Marian Gaborik in terms of all aspects of his game. He fits John Tortorellas style perfectly with his ability to both push the pace, and his ability to grind it out. He can kill penalties and has been lethal there before scoring at least 1 SHG a year for 5 of the last 6 years (total of 14 in that span)
The Rangers, a team that was within 2 wins of the Stanley Cup Finals. A team that was within 1 game of the Presidents Trophy. A team that won the East. Just replaced 2 3rd line players with a legitimate #1 power forward. We just got a whole hell of a lot better folks. And if they can now either acquire Shane Doan, Alexander Semin, or Bobby Ryan, they may be the team to beat in the entire NHL.
Here’s hoping that Nashville matches on Weber and this will be about as good an offseason as a team can have.