There may be interest from the 29 other NHL teams, but the New York Rangers are not going to trade Rick Nash this season. After buying out Brad Richards prior to the start of free agency, there was speculation that the Rangers would attempt to free up some more cap space by moving Nash and his $7.8 million cap hit.
Before you start conjuring up trade scenarios for your team, know that Larry Brooks of the New York Post has said that neither the Rangers or Nash are pursuing a trade. Nash has a no movement clause through the 2014-15 season, so any potential deal would require his blessing. At this time, Nash has no intentions of leaving New York City after only two seasons.
The 2013-14 season was a disappointing one for Nash; he followed a 42 point (21 G, 21 A) lockout shortened season with a dissapointing 39 point effort. Nash added three goals and seven assists in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After getting one crack at the playoffs with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nash is not likely to leave a team that just went to the Stanley Cup Final. With the loss of Brad Richards, the Rangers require scoring depth if they are going to be a contender in the Eastern Conference in 2014. His offensive struggles aside, Nash plays a key role in the Rangers offense, especially now that Brad Richards is with the Chicago Blackhawks.
His percentage of time spent on the Rangers power play decreased in the 2013-14 season. Nash’s PPTOI% was 57.3% during the 2013 lockout shortened season (increasing to 60.3% in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs). During the 2013-14 season, Nash’s PPTOI% dropped to 46.9% during the regular season and 30.8% during the playoffs. By comparison, Brad Richards’ PPTOI% in 2013-14 was 68.6% during the regular season and 66.4% during the playoffs. [Courtesy of Extraskater]
The New York Rangers are likely to utilize Nash more on the power play during the 2014-15 season, which can only serve to increase his production on offense.
A trade could be possible further down the road, especially if Nash continues to struggle and the Rangers cannot return to the Stanley Cup Final. Do not expect a trade to happen in the near future, as both the Rangers and Rick Nash remain committed to bringing a Stanley Cup back to Broadway.