All signs point to the New York Rangers dealing Rick Nash before the trade deadline. Should the Nashville Predators peruse the star forward?
He is 33-years old and has 15 goals on the season. He is also in the last year of a contract. But, with the New York Rangers in the cellar of the Metropolitan Division, the team asked Rick Nash for a list of teams for trading. It is clear the Rangers will be sellers at the deadline. Are the Nashville Predators on his list? We don’t know.
Nash becomes an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the season, which means any team who wants to trade for him may be asked to sign him to a long-term contract. Additionally, the asking price of Nash is suggested to be high.
Rumors swirls regarding potential moves by Predators’ General Manager David Poile. He has stated the desire for a top-six winger to be added this season. The Predators are a true contender for the Stanley Cup this year in a wide-open Western Conference. With a talented roster in place for the next several years, the championship window is wide open.
Is there room?
But, do the Nashville Predators need Nash? More importantly, would Nash be willing to play on a lower line when coming to the Predators? Currently, Nash plays on the Rangers’ top line. Should he come to Nashville, Nash likely would play on the third line. The Predators first line is set, as is the second line of Kevin Fiala, Kyle Turris, and Craig Smith. Neither trio needs to be split unless an injury occurs.
A top-line forward playing the third line? It can happen. However, when egos are involved things can get messy. Placing Nash with Nick Bonino and Calle Jarnkrok would make for an interesting line. Of course, this could mean a fourth line of Scott Hartnell, Colton Sissons, and Austin Watson. Or Mike Fisher. And let’s not forget Miikka Salomaki, if he is not involved in the trade. Or Pontus Aberg.
What about the financials? According to CapFriendly.com, Nash’s prorated cap-hit is just over $2.5 million, or approximately $42,000 per day. The same site suggests the Nashville Predators projected cap space is $3.2 million. Additionally, the team’s possesses $7.75 million in cap space next season, if the upper limit remains the same.
The Predators have four free-agents this offseason. The priority will be signing Juuse Saros long-term. After that, the team can reconsider signing Hartnell, Salomaki, and Alexei Emelin. If the Predators could sign Nash for $4.5 million for the next three years, it may be worth the risk.
A package of the first round pick in the 2018 Entry Draft, Emil Petterson, and either Salomaki or Aberg could be enough. Honestly, it is not a move I would make. The team in place is ready to win.