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If Nash falls through, what are the backup options?

February 26, 2012, by

All the talk with the Rangers and the deadline is about Rick Nash. It makes sense, and there have been heavy rumors stating that the Rangers and Columbus GM Scott Howson are in serious negotiations regarding the star winger. Nash would make the Rangers better in the short term and long term, although that contract might be a bit of a nuisance.

But if Nash falls through, expect Glen Sather to go hunting for a short term option to help fill a hole on the left side of the top six forwards. Short term fixes generally won’t cost much –assume a mid level prospect and a mid/late round pick– and are usually players on expiring contracts. We’ve discussed many different players that could be dealt, but let’s look at a few more.

Just a note: The Rangers can add more than $10 million in cap space without having to move a roster player.

Samuel Pahlsson, CBJ: Sticking with the Blue Jackets for a second, Pahlsson has drawn some interest, but it’s unexpected that the Rangers have any interest in the winger. Pahlsson is a very good defensive winger, but the Rangers aren’t really looking at that type of player. Kristian Huselius would have drawn interest, but his groin injury severely limits his usefulness.

Niklas Hagman, ANA: Post lockout, Hagman has been about a 40 point player on average. He has battled some injuries, but this year he has battled ineptitude. He just hasn’t gotten the job done, and was eventually sent to the AHL before being claimed off re-entry by the Ducks. He’s not really a viable option.

Scott Gomez, MTL: I think dealing Ryan McDonagh should get the job done, right?

Andrei Kostitsyn, MTL: Kostitsyn is about a 40 point guy, like Hagman. The difference is that Kostitsyn is still averaging 40 points, whereas Hagman misplaced his game. He may not be the top-six help that the Rangers need, either, but he could provide some depth and put up some points in a pinch. This would be a gamble.

Brad Boyes/Paul Gaustad, BUF: We end this list with the most realistic acquisitions for a short term fix. Boyes is a former 40 goal scorer who just hasn’t found that magic again. He could fill in on the top six, but like Kostitsyn, he would be a gamble. Gaustad is more of a third line player, but could provide more depth. Jochen Hecht would be an interesting option, but he’s out indefinitely with a concussion.


  1. Glen Miller says:

    I like Gaustad even more after toughing out that injured shoulder in the fight with Prust and coming back. The primary reason I like him is his ability to win faceoffs. I think we could use some help there.

  2. matt says:

    hold Pat and use the money on Parise.
    (if the price is too high on Nash)

  3. Bobby Tux says:

    The Rangers best move might be to recall Avery to add depth to the bottom 6, Can you imagine the irony if Avery becomes a contributor!

    Back to reality. The best move might be for a Powerplay point specialist and bottom 6 insurance should another injury occur. The non-playoff have numerous Bottom 6 specialists (easy plan is to look at penalty killers). The Rangers have Zucarello, Newbury to offer for 20 game tryouts and somebody will be buying that choice. Look at the pickups that the Bruins made last year, those transactions clearly helped push a good team over the top. Maybe the same formula for the Blueshirts?

    As for Nash, the Rangers should offer no more than Dubinsky, non-Krieder prospect, and a first rounder for Nash and potentially another roster player.

    • Zen says:

      Avery… ugh. Enough already. Never will happen.

      • Bobby Tux says:

        ok so now that EC and WW are gone who do the Rangers have in Hartford? Newbury and Deveux? Both in effective. Unless Sather makes a move, the Rangers are one injury from Avery. Zucs is not even an option for bottom 6 work. Bickel is ok but not really. Avery would play like a monster!

        • Jd says:

          Avery. That’s just absurd. Never going to happen and if it did he would just be a side circus distraction. Don’t you want to win

  4. Zen says:

    The Rangers need scoring and none of thos players will help. Boyes can score, but seems like he is a dud. I wouldn’t be surprised if Slats pulls something out of his hat if Nash doesn’t happen.

  5. JTC says:

    I’d take Zuccarello over most of the guys on that list.

  6. Mijeyyy says:

    Stay on target. The team has gotten better and better every year. Plus Sather does really well in the offseason.

  7. jerry says:

    have a feeling not really going to be an active deadline for any teams this year…

  8. Chris F says:

    Don’t really like any of these names. None can generate the offensive push we ‘re looking for.

  9. prole30 says:

    The Rangers totally lack in depth at forward for a long playoff run now that Wolski and Christensen have been shown the door. There are always injuries, even if they just hamstring a player. Avery could step in but he’s been a healthy scratch since January. They should get some bodies.

  10. Chris F says:

    What about Mikhail Grabovsky? His agent is saying he wants to make a deal, even though Burke says there is no trade going to happen. Who knows?

    Grabovsky puts up some enticing numbers… I just don’t know much about his style. Is he physical? Can he back-check?

    • Dave says:

      Doubtful. If he goes, Burke will make a splash with him, and package for a big time player.

  11. Spozo says:

    I know the Scott Gomez comment was a joke but does anyone else think he would be the perfect center for Gabby? He is a pass first player that loves to carry the puck into the offensive zone. He draws defenders to him and then looks to dish off the puck. And he has well above average speed. I know this is completely unrealistic and there is no way Gomez ever wears a rangers jersey again but atleast on paper I think he would be gabbys perfect center man. Of course on paper Richards would have been as well and we saw how well that turned out.

  12. AD says:

    I was hoping we might see the trade and acquisition of Ray Whitney.

  13. Lou says:

    Okay so Nash isn’t going to happen, I’m just hoping Slats didn’t forget the remainder of the league with this love affair.

    Here’s are real deals to get done:
    a) Ott from Dallas for Dubinsky
    b) O’Brien from Avs for Emminger and 3rd rounder
    c) Gaustad from Buff for Zucc & Draft 2nd rnder

    We get forward depth…we get tough…we get D-help.

    Could also throw in Louie if Dallas wiling to move for JT Miller.