Using Capgeek’s Armchair GM with a Cap ceiling at 70.6M (common number I’ve seen), and Larry Brook’s projection on what players will get this offseason, here’s where the Rangers stand:
Either having to lose Boyle and Stralman and possibly someone else like Dom Moore or John Moore to be able to have a chance at signing Stastny, or keeping Boyle, hoping Stralman comes back, letting JT Miller play 3rd line C and moving Step and Brass up to top 2 C’s respectively. But here’s a third option. One that is rather polarizing. Trading Rick Nash for Jason Spezza or Dustin Byfuglien.
Look, Rick Nash not producing in the playoffs and his production overall is only a small piece of why I want to get rid of him. This past season he did have 9 game winning goals, a Rangers record. But none of those came against playoff teams and only 8 of his 26 goals did come against playoff teams. He hasn’t produced in the playoffs his whole career. Not only that, he makes 7.8M and is now a concussion away from being done. It’s visible how his last concussion has changed his game. He doesn’t drive to the net as much, his hands have cemented a little bit, and we all know there are regular season games where he is non existent. And worrying about him getting a concussion isn’t that ridiculous because of his two in a matter of a 6 months or so. If he gets one more concussion, we are likely stuck with a 7.8M guy who is a complete shell of himself. But if you can work out a trade for Jason Spezza who, with one year left on his contract and at 31 years old, will look to have a career year in order to get one more big contract could be the perfect guy not just for right now but also for the future. We save 7M for 4 years by making that trade.
Make this trade and hope Ryan Callahan comes back on a 5yr/23-25M deal. After this coming season you lose Sepzza and St. Louis giving you 12M to spend on our own guys and maybe bringing back a guy like Dubinsky. Or maybe you get extremely lucky and either Kane or Toews doesn’t re-sign. Doubtful. Let’s just look at over the next two years bringing back Dubinsky and Callahan. Or even Justin Williams who is a free agent after next season.
And all that is just bonus to me. I think we can all agree that there is a little bit more likelihood that Rick Nash ends up hurting us more than helping us down the line. Bringing in Spezza allows you to be more financially stable down the road while also bringing in a guy who has 52 points in 56 career playoff games, a guy who could very well have a career year, a guy who is still productive, a guy who wants to win a Stanley Cup. The Rangers will have one more run at a Cup next year before they will have to retool a little bit and rebuild the organizational depth. If Nash has a bad year or gets one concussion, you are stuck with him for the rest of his contract.
You could also try to trade for Byfuglien instead of Spezza. No doubt he’ll give us size, power, a power play QB we desperately need, and offense. Not to mention he’s even cheaper than Spezza and has one more year than him on his contract.
Trading Rick Nash right now, this offseason, is what’s best for the New York Rangers and their future and this upcoming season.