Should the Blackhawks Pursue Rick Nash?

Reports surfaced on Monday night that Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash might be open to waiving his no-movement clause to get out of hockey hell Columbus.

Should the Blackhawks swing for the fences and make a play for Nash? And what would it take to get him?

First, let’s discuss the more exciting question: what would it take to get Nash out of Columbus? There have been two popular Nash rumors floating for the last couple of days, and both of them involved one the the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

The first has Nash going to the New York Rangers in a deal that could involve a package of center Brandon Dubinsky, top prospect Chris Kreider and a first round pick. Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin have also been mentioned in the Rangers rumors.

The second has Boston showing interest in Nash, with Columbus asking for a package including netminder Tuukka Rask and one of Milan Lucic or David Krejci in the deal.

There are fatal flaws to both of those trades. The most obvious is that two legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, that really aren’t showing signs of needing a blockbuster trade, would be giving up core players from their NHL roster.

From New York’s perspective, Dubinsky is a guy they just made a long-term financial commitment to over the summer, and Kreider is considered one of the top prospects in the game. Certainly Boston wouldn’t move one of their more important veteran forwards and sacrifice their goaltending depth to get a guy that might score a few goals for them.

But let’s use those trades as a framework for what it might take to get Nash out of Columbus.

With regards to the package Boston would give up in theory (emphasis on theory), there’s little/nothing the Blackhawks could do to match a deal involving Rask and one of those two forwards. But Boston giving up on the heir apparent to Tim Thomas’ crease is doubtful at best.

The Blackhawks have a player on their roster that compares favorably to Dubinsky, though.

Dubinsky will turn 26 in late April and has disappointed offensively this season, posting just 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) in 51 games. He has three years remaining on that new contract, carrying in $4.2M cap hit.

There’s a center on the Hawks who turns 26 in early June who has also disappointed offensively this year, registering 28 points (16 goals, 12 assists) in 52 games. The offensive production and roles on their given rosters are very similar, but the Hawks’ center has just two more seasons on his current deal at a $3.375M cap hit.

David Bolland could be part of a package to get Nash out of Columbus.

Kreider is currently a teammate of Blackhawks prospect Kevin Hayes at Boston College, where he’s piled up 18 goals and 15 assists in 29 games. But the Hawks have some prospects that have received a lot of attention over the last couple years that could be part of the mix.

Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin are having solid seasons in Rockford, and might be able to make a jump to the ice in Columbus soon. While giving up a player of that profile and ability would hurt, a look down the road indicates that they might be replaced internally by as early as next year.

Yes, there is always risk in considering moving a good prospect, as we pointed out when looking back at the Phantoms of the lockout season a while back. But making a bold, blockbuster move to make a run for a Cup sometimes involves risk.

Could the Blackhawks put together a package to get Nash out of Columbus? Probably.

But should they?

The first flaw in the idea of making a blockbuster happen with Columbus are two simple realities:

  1. Teams don’t like trading superstars, captains, face-of-the-franchise guys to divisional rivals (except Chelios).
  2. Teams don’t like moving really good young prospects inside the division, either.

So just those two realities should kill the conversation immediately. But let’s take it a step further.

Nash has a contract that should be viewed by honest fans in Chicago as being similar to a baseball player already in this town: Alfonso Soriano.

A look at Nash’s numbers indicate that he’s trending the wrong direction. His point total has gone down in each of the last two seasons, and he’s on pace to have perhaps a third consecutive drop this year. Furthermore, he’s only passed the 70-point mark once in his NHL career.

Certainly he’s a prime-time goal scorer. He’s scored at least 30 goals in four of the last five seasons, including 40 during the 2008-09 season. But his goal numbers have tailed off as well, falling to 33 and 32 the last two seasons. This year, he’s at only 18 goals, on pace for another season in the low-30s (if even that).

Nash will turn 28 in late June, which shouldn’t be a deterrent. But his contract should look about as tempting as Snookie to Hawks GM Stan Bowman. He has a $7.8M cap hit until the end of the 2017-18 season and his contract includes a no-movement clause from 2010-11 through 2014-15 and a no-trade clause from 2015-18.

In the final year of his contract, Nash will be 33 years old, making $8.2M, and has the right to veto any trade.

Does that sound like a deal you want on the books in Chicago?

A big, physical left wing that’s scored over 30 goals per season sounds great right now, but Nash isn’t worth the price tag, either in assets or dollars/years. 

If the answer to “could” the Blackhawks make a deal for Nash is “maybe,” the answer to the “should” question is a big, bold NO.

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62 Responses to Should the Blackhawks Pursue Rick Nash?

  1. Biggs says:

    Tab, nicely done. I agree we need a center not a winger. Also we just got rid of a “choker” contract and don’t need another.

  2. Nate says:

    We don’t need a winger OR a center. We need a top four defensemen to fill the void left by Brian Campbell. Stan Bowmans’ greatest offseason folly was thinking he could replace a skater like Campbell with a 20 year old.

    Also, your interest in trading Bolland really confuses me. Our primary weakness on offense is down the center, but you want to trade one of the best shutdown centers in the league? I would hesitate to trade Bolland at all (he’s not the problem right now), but if I were to trade him, I would definitely NOT send him to a division rival. That would be a decision you would be guaranteed to regret…he’s one of those players who will come back to haunt you down the road, so if you do decide to ship him out, send him as far away as possible.

  3. Pete says:

    To me the safe play is to sign a solid free agent in his prime and bring up the kids as they are ready. If you could trade a bunch of prospects and picks for a star in his prime and add him to the current team, as a season ticket holder I would be excited to see how it would work. I wouldn’t criticize a risk to go “all in”. Nash is only 28 so he is in his prime and the salary cap goes up every year so that doesn’t bother me. The issue for me is whether he is still a top 20 player in the league and are we giving up players that will be stars.

  4. wall says:

    If the Rangers or Bruins were willing to make those trades for Nash…
    Bowman needs to get on the phone right now and offer Kane and any AHL guy for Lucic and Rask or Rangers trio! No brainer!

    It’s a SELLER’S market!

  5. Ryan says:

    Yes. If not Nash then Jarome Iginla.

    Wait what am I saying? According to the “Q Witch Hunt” artists, we must win now. If our top 6 was Toews, Hossa, Nash, Iginla, Kane and Sharp I am gonna say we’d win the cup. So why not trade for both? We have a lot of space and certainly enough organizational depth. There is no such thing as the future in regards to the Chicago Blackhawks according to some fans, Q’s legacy apparently depends on this year.

    Must get both Nash and Iginla

  6. Ryan says:

    Kane – Toews – Nash
    Iginla – Sharp – Hossa

  7. wall says:

    Zamboni- LOL

    but all of my repeated pissing and moaning is done expecting no results…

    still insane though… just not by the forementioned definition!

  8. Ryan says:

    Hmm actually I am torn

    I like Toews and Nash 1st line and Iginla and Hossa 2nd line. I think Kane and Sharp would have to rotate who gets the dot on the 2nd line, other on 1st. Maybe Q could just switch each game to keep things interesting.

    That way he wouldn’t be doing the same thing over and over and expecting a result you know. He’d be keeping it fresh……………………………..

  9. Brad Stevenson says:

    Kane for Nash…I would make that deal in a heartbeat…and because Columbus needs to put butts in the seats, they likely would too…

  10. Ryan says:

    Wall you have your answer in the other thread. I did my best.

  11. Vince says:

    reading these comments makes me very freaking confused on what people think we actually have even talking about getting Nash AND Iggy AND keeping Kane, Toews, Sharp, and Hossa makes me think that you are all freaking high out of your minds. What do you expect to give up for them? Defense? THAT IS WHAT WE NEED NOT GET RID OF. I mean I agree things need to be shaken up, trading Kane for Nash may not be a terrible idea, I am a Kane fan but being traded may be the change he needs to pick his game back up to where we all know it can be. Nash IS more of a power forward which could be something we need whereas the Blue Jackets could use some new fresh face to put them on the map.

    To be totally honest though I really dont think we need to be shopping for forwards. Get me a 2nd line center, DEFENSE, or a new goaltender and I will be happy. I am a Crawford fan, I liked his play last year and every shitty game he plays deep down i think he will bounce back. It may not happen, Im not a complete idiot, he just looks lost at times. If we keep him, I hope that this is just the “sophmore slump,” but finding a way to get nabby may be a good thing for the team… not sure how good bringin back the bulin wall will do but bringing back an older veteran goaltender instead of emery may be able to help craw get his game back.

    Whatever they do, I hope they do it soon and I sure hope it works because this year has been rough for all Blackhawks fans.

    Seriously though please tell me the trades you want to make in order to have THIS be our top two lines. I am really curious to see what you want to give up in order to get this.

    Kane – Toews – Nash
    Iginla – Sharp – Hossa

  12. Tab Bamford says:

    as Edzo would say… STOP IT RIGHT HERE.

    Brad… buddy… pal…

    After everything I wrote here, you would trade Patrick Kane for Rick Nash “in a heartbeat”???????

    You do realize that Nash has hit 70 points ONCE in his career… a number Kane has never come up short of hitting in his first four years?

    And you do realize that Kane’s contract runs out when he’s still younger than Nash is now?

    And you do realize that Nash’s numbers are already declining across the board? And his cap number of $7.8M, coupled with a no-trade clause, would seriously handicap the Blackhawks’ ability to retain their core after their present deals are up?

    Trading Patrick Kane for Rick Nash is one of the most ludicrious propositions I’ve heard since Roenick was traded for yesterday’s tuna salad and a week old loaf of bread. PLEASE… PLEASE, I’m begging you… PLEASE stop drinking the bong water Brad.

  13. Tab Bamford says:

    And Iginla isn’t on the market, so stop the insanity.

  14. Ryan says:

    Stop the Insanity. Very Nice! Absolutely Gorgeous

    I was being completely over the top the other way for those not named Tab that didn’t get it.

  15. Cord says:

    i gotta stop reading the comments. you guys are retarded.

  16. Cord says:

    I’m kinda shocked I haven’t seen KC saying we should trade Q for Nash and JR’s tuna sandwich.

  17. Ryan says:

    Cord – don’t give em any ideas. I can almost see it coming….

    The argument will draw its premise on the Fact the Cubs got Theo from the Red Sox. Next will be to claim, nay, convince all of us that Matt Garza will still be compensation. The next part is tricky and may hold up the deal. JR’s Tuna Sandwich is rumored to be a deal breaker right now, but we’ll get em deal dagnabbit. Then there will be a conclusion that will blow us all away. Crayon eaters said, “Amen”!

    You have opened a huge can of worms Cord. The next 24 hours could get real bad. I am buckle up it is sure to be a bumpy ride.

  18. E says:

    It’s late in the season. While I’m not opposed to adding a top six forward, I think we should simply sit on the team we have for now. Other than getting a top 4 d man, no trade makes sense. Offense takes chemistry, and chemistry takes time. Could we use Nash? Sure. However, sacrificing depth is hardly the answer to the Blackhawks problems. This has been the discussion for months now, solid defense. We miss Campbell, and we need someone to fill the void. But the chances of the hawks scoring a puck moving d man as skilled as Campbell are slim to none.

    We miss Campbell on defense and on the power play. That’s something we need a solution for. Not adding a top 6 forward, regardless of how much we’d like to see it. I agree with Tab, is essentially the point I’m trying to make. I’m all about moving for Suter. As magical fairyland as that sounds.

  19. Dave Bonnema says:

    I’d hold out for a BLT instead.

  20. Ryan says:

    Tab the reason I would like a trade like this is because it would give us a lot more stability and punch on the top 2 lines and balance out the other lines in the process. Maybe that is over simplifying things

  21. Ryan says:

    Just because we have a lot of wing options doesn’t mean they are the right ones. Having Hoss and Nash on 1st and 2nd line in any order, for me, provides clarity and works from a position of strength as opposed to working from a position of weakness or mediocrity.

  22. Ivan says:

    Counter proposal:

    Given the paradigms of the hypothetical trade proposals for Rick Nash, and considering Patrick Sharp as a comperable player in terms of stats, less ‘superstar’ profile, but with a championship ring and a significantly cheaper cap hit, would you move Patrick Sharp for what New York or Boston are ‘offering’?

    I think I would.

  23. Ryan says:

    With Toews on the dot on top line obviously. The only other question is Does Kane play on 1st or 2nd line and same goes for Sharp. Honestly both Kruger and Morrison would work in this scenario as 2nd line center the other is the 4th line guy. No a guy like Vic, who has been very productive for us, is a 3rd or 4th line guy and on and on

  24. Ryan says:

    No sharp stays

  25. Ryan says:

    If we have to give up Kane or Sharp wait till offseason

  26. Ivan says:

    Kane isn’t being traded. This idea that so consumes the Hawk fanbase is so ridiculous. He is a point per game, dynamic, 23!!!!! year old… you don’t trade that. Sharp on the other hand could be traded, not saying he HAS to, but he could be. And when defending him consider what a 35 year old Patrick Sharp will play like…. for 6 million per season.

    Scary.

  27. Steve says:

    Well Brad for once I am with Tab. I would only NOT do the trade you purpose since Nash’s contract makes the Soupy contract look like a Kmart bluelight special (did i just date myself).

    I agree kane is utter garb. Forget what his point totals WERE with skilled teams. He is not a complete player. This whole PPG for Kane. I wish all those comments were true. I think Kane is 50-60 points, an above avg point producer, but a guy who just doesn’t seem to compete.

    I wonder if kane’s wrist is a bigger issue that we think. His wrist shot has no explosion. He doesn’t seem to be able to shoot a puck into the net from distance. he had a nice backhand.

    While not high on Kane at all, I am a no on Kane for Nash, or anyone for Nash.

  28. Spencer says:

    There are way more rumors about the Hawks pursuing Derek Roy. And honestly, I’d be significantly more happy with a trade for him. Since he isn’t really considered to be a star like Nash, he wouldn’t require as big of a trade piece. With Roy’s numbers slightly down this year, the Sabres might be more willing to part with him for a couple promising, young guys. Face it, the Hawks have more prospects in the system than they could ever call up. I love having guys like Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri, Ben Smith, Jimmy Hayes, and Kyle Beach in the system, but with no room on the big league roster for them, doesn’t it make sense to trade a few of them for a piece we need to make a playoff push?

  29. Ryan says:

    Let me clarify when I said, “No if we have to trade Kane or Sharp we wait till offseason”

    I don’t want to trade them at all even in Offseason. Work from a position strength, even when we are struggling. If we trade Kane or Sharp for instance and bring in a quality player there is no gurantee that changes things. Since it appears to be a wash why act that desperate now. With our cap space and organizational depth knee jerk reactions aren’t necessary.

  30. joey Zamboni says:

    @ wall –
    Zamboni- LOL

    but all of my repeated pissing and moaning is done expecting no results…

    still insane though… just not by the forementioned definition!

    FINALLY someone gets it….!!!! Thanks Wall!!

  31. Ryan says:

    The whole purpose in my mind of strengthening the top 6 is so we can then get the band back together on the checking line. To be clear the checking line I am talking about is just that a checking line that isn’t score points cause the top 6 is always changing and lacks consistency

  32. Ryan says:

    If they do score points bonus. We need to quit asking the role players, that are quality in their own right, to carry the load. When the role players fee like they “have” to carry the team that’s when saw dust ends up on the floor from squezzing the stick to hard. Maybe it is just my opinion, or maybe it is fact, or maybe it is somewhere in between who knows.

  33. Ryan says:

    Joey by saying finally someone gets it imply’s you had a point to make, I E a result. Here’s your sign!

  34. Ryan says:

    It should be required that people understand the concept, “the man that stands for nothing still stands for something” before they can interact on a Message Board or Blog site. Too many times clowns take of stance that reeks of, “if I am just sarcastic it doesn’t mean anything” Which is so bass ak wards it makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

  35. Ryan says:

    Other concepts typically ignored on Message Boards:

    Argumentum Ad Hominem

    Straw Man

  36. Bob G says:

    If Boston is willing to trade Tuukka Rask, why not go for that?

  37. Spencer says:

    I doubt that Boston really is willing to trade him. He will probably take over for Thomas next year.

  38. Canes Dad says:

    Frankly, under the current system, I don’t think Nash could make us much better. Again, IMHO it’s the system that is failing, not the star-studded line-up we have.

    The Hawks has become a place were aggressive players come to be passive. Nash would just join the current group of them.

    As much as I like Toews as a scorer and a player, and as much as it is probably heresy to say it here, I don’t think he’s a captain. or at least the right captain for this team. Our passive team personality shows that, which is exacerbated by Q’s system.

    In my world, Seabrook — which doesn’t even have an A on his jersey — is my captain, and I bring in a coach that can get these guys to play good, basic, responsible hockey every night.

    I don’t want the Harlem Globetrotters. I want consistency and passion, which we don’t have.

  39. Tab Bamford says:

    to Canes Dad: I’m honestly going to see if I can find you some Bulls tickets as a prize for the STUPIDEST COMMENT EVER. “I don’t think [Toews]‘s a captain. or at least the right captain for this team.” One of the most respected captains in the game, who was voted the best leader in the league by The Hockey News, isn’t good enough for you? There’s a lot I can listen to, from trading Kane to hating on the coach, but when you say Toews isn’t good enought to be your captain you have earned being called an idiot. I did consider it, but I’m not going to spam this comment because I think everyone deserves to see how ridiculous and stupid some in the fan base have become.

    Here’s my advice: go read a Bulls blog.

  40. djdvs34 says:

    I know your entitled to your opinion, but that is DUMBEST statement I ever read on any blog ANYWHERE PERIOD. Here is a guy who plays through all sorts of shit and has a heart as big as any hawk to where the C and you say Seabrook should be a captain?!?!?!??! Whaaaaaaat?!?!?!! Baffled

  41. Pete says:

    Tab, do you think John Scott should be in the lineup tonight to protect Toews etc. I find it frustrating to watch our guys get pushed around without much if any retaliation.

  42. Tab Bamford says:

    He is in the lineup tonight, Pete, and my guess is that your frustration is shared by the coaches and Toews. He’ll be a forward this evening, with Morrison & Frolik sitting out.

  43. Pete says:

    Thats good. That defender Vlasic on San Jose really got under my skin playing “outside the rules”(according to Eddie O) on Toews.

  44. Tony Leva says:

    Cane’s dad was a troll.

  45. Bryan says:

    Hockeybuzz.com rumor – Nash to Kings “looks to be done”

    Who knows what that means…but I still think we need help on the back end, and as much as a Nash would help this team on the offense, we still rank in the toilet in team GAA…Defense wins games, top 4 defensemen needs to be top priority…until that is addressed, look for much of the same from the hawks.

  46. the Greek says:

    A stud defenseman or two is the direction the “GM” needs to look towards. Guys besides Duncs and Seabrook that can carry the puck and advance it with a sense of purpose and direction…we look out of synch out there more often than not lately. I know,we had one in Campbell,but that ship sailed,with no current player being able to replace him. Our GF versus GA has gone to shit since we won the Cup, getting worse every season,to the point where,at this rate,in a couple of more games,it will be upside down-not the sign of a serious contender. If we want to be a puck possession team,shoulnt we have puck posession-type players???Also, when was the last time any guy wearing the indian head won a battle on the boards, slid in front of a shot, backed up their captain when he was slapped around…?

  47. the Greek says:

    Also,not to gang up on canes dad,but…Jeezus…are you fucking serious? Seebs wearing the “C” ? Lord help us,we have all lost our fucking minds this month.

  48. Pete says:

    I know Scott can’t skate etc. but if the Preds try the same nonsense other teams have with Toews tonight I am looking for a big response from Scott. Go hawks and lets circle the wagons tonight.

  49. Ryan says:

    To Pete – Eddie was being too nice when he said “outside the rules”, very few times will see a hold that ends up in a make shift suplex go un-punished.

    Canes Dad – At work today I tyring to figure out whether I’d go with my Toews, Hossa or Bolland Jersey tonight. I was thinking about Bolland, to Rep the work Ethic, but you settled it. I am gonna wear the Toews Conn Smythe T-Shirt that I own.

    Canes dad reminded of another concept that should be understood before posting a comment. You can claim you are entitled to your opinion, but if you believe the moon is made of cheese who is gonna take you seriously? Not to mention just because some individuals believe they are stating their opinion, they are really making a statement of fact that is no longer by definition an opinion. For instance the Toews example. When there is verifiable evidence like the Conn Smythe Trophy, level of respect from peers etc you might better off focusing on what you would like to see Toews work on, but maybe not

  50. Glenn says:

    I think Kreider is more highly regarded – a more sure thing to be a top-6 NHL’er than either Pirri or Morin or any other Hawk’s prospect for that matter.

    The other issue is salary cap. I doubt Nash’s $7.8M will work long term without unloading one of the Hawk’s big salary guys.

    I’d like to have Nash because he brings size and some toughness which is in short supply on the Hawks – but it just doesn’t look like it would work.

  51. Ryan says:

    Imagine if you will Canes Dad telling Toews he isn’t the right Captain. Then Toews says yes I am. If one or the other asks why and the reason given is “because I am entitled my opinion it becomes a statement of fact. So unless they just stand there and stare at each other they are wrong.

    Further more I contend that the phrase “I am entitled to my opinion” is a cop out intended to end the discussion, not further a dialogue

  52. Ryan says:

    PS toews wouldn’t have to. He’d show him the Conn Smythe and say any questions!

  53. Ryan says:

    Tab I have tried to think for about an hour and half of something to say to you without having it ring hollow, so I will just say this:

    I have a journalism degree. I don’t think some of the Fans that Flame on this site, truly understand what it is like to cover a team you also love and follow as a fan. Especially when things aren’t going well. I have a ton of repsect for you for sticking with it, I couldn’t when a covered my University as an intern for a fan site that covered (Iowa State). For me there was nothing worse than having my heart ripped out by seeing my team lose and then have to deal with, well some of the stuff that has been slung around here the past few days as an example. I went a different career direction because I couldn’t handle it (some of you are probably saying to yourself, we know) However, it is also why I try and remain as cordial as possible in forums like this.

    Anyway Tab a ton of respect for you.

  54. Brad Stevenson says:

    The latest news on the Hawks-Nash discussions…the Hawks have put forth a huge offer to Columbus for Nash that does not include Patrick Kane (incredible)…but does feature at least one of the core players…take it for what it is worth, but it apparently is an offer than Columbus will have to take a hard look at.

    As everyone here knows, with Nash’s salary, the Hawks will have to clear some room. Perhaps it will be Bolland, either Bickell or Frolik, and then 2 top prospects (and I mean 2 of our top prospects, so stop thinking Kyle Beach and Shawn LaLonde, this could cost us Brandon Saad) and our #1 next year…this all sheer speculation, but that would clean enough space for the Hawks to get Nash and still have room for another DMan and rental goalie…if they choose to go that route.

    For me, personally, Rick Nash is exactly the player that will help put the Hawks in a position to win…Nash helps his Defence by being very hard to play against in the opposition end…this helps our puck possession game and our goal scoring. He is big, physical, tough, and a leader…plus he is a decent 2 way hockey player. He is the power forward line mate that Tazer needs to make him the MVP of the league. This is the player…this is the guy.

    If we get Nash, put Sharp to centre, and make Kruger the #3 line centerman…the forward lines could look like this…

    Toews-Stahlberg-Nash
    Sharp-Hossa-Kane
    Kruger-Shaw-Brunette
    Mayers-Frolik-Hayes

    Personally, I would dump Morrison…

  55. Eric says:

    Sorry to say……..sad day in Hawksville!

    Taking a few days off and will reconnect in March…..Go Hawks go!

  56. Pete says:

    Brad we have to get rid of Brunette. Maybe I’m missing something, but I think he’s hurting us.

  57. Tab Bamford says:

    @Brad: “the latest” according to….??

  58. Brad Stevenson says:

    Sorry Tab…I thought I tacked that on…both John Jaeckel and Eric Francis out of Calgary…

  59. Tab Bamford says:

    @Brad: 0-2 my friend. Still not buying it.

  60. IdProQuo says:

    Brad Stevenson is full of BS.

    It makes no sense for the Hawks to pursue Nash…

    THEY NEED A GOALIE!!!!
    Crawford hasn’t lived up to potential.

    And some more help on 2nd 3rd line D.
    If only they still had Campbell…

  61. IdProQuo says:

    Hawks need Miller in goal then they’re cup contenders
    once again.

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