12:47pm: Via Mark Spector, talks between the Rangers and Blue Jackets regarding Rick Nash have “advanced.” The reported package includes one of Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto, a prospect (apparently Tim Erixon), and a first round pick. The Rangers believe this offer gives them the edge over the Maple Leafs, and I would sure hope it would. That’s a serious haul.
As Dave said on Twitter, any deal bringing Nash to New York would have to involve Brandon Dubinsky going elsewhere for salary purposes. Columbus apparently doesn’t want him, which complicated things. It’s worth noting that Wojtek Wolski was not placed on waivers today according to Bob McKenzie, so his rather pricey salary will still count against the cap on Monday, trade deadline day.
I’m of the belief that the Rangers should look for an upgrade over the Stu Bickel/Steve Eminger/Jeff Woywitka trio, not subtract potentially two defensemen. We’ve seen the d-men get beat with speed quite a bit lately, and I don’t think that’s an accident. Dan Girardi, McDonagh, and MDZ have logged a ton of ice time this season, so adding another guy to soak up some minutes down the stretch makes sense. Anyway, I’ll update this post with any Nash-related rumors throughout the day.
Update (2:24pm): Per David Pagnotta, the Blue Jackets badly want Derek Stepan but will settle for Carl Hagelin. He mentions a package of Dubinsky, Stepan/Hagelin, Chris Kreider, plus a pick (not necessarily a first rounder), though it’s unclear if that’s on the table or if he’s speculating. Meanwhile, Larry Brooks hears that there’s nothing to the MDZ talk, but Erixon is in play. After the Wolski trade, the Rangers can add close to $11 million in cap hits at the deadline according to CapGeek. The money’s there if they want to do something big, or even two something bigs.