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.
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.