The New York Rangers don’t intend to pursue trades involving highly paid forward Rick Nash this offseason, reports Larry Brooks of the New York Post. Nash was considered a possible trade candidate entering the summer given his expensive salary cap hit and shaky performance during the prior season.
With the Rangers already parting ways with Brad Richards this offseason via buyout, it felt possible that the team could also pursue a deal to shed Nash and his $7.8 million cap hit for the upcoming season. However, Brooks says the team doesn’t intend to trade Nash, who has a no-movement clause in effect through the 2014-15 season:
The Rangers are not asking Nash to leave town after two seasons on Broadway in which he led the team in goal-scoring both times, and No. 61 is not asking for an exit from New York after recording a sum of four goals in 37 playoff games.
While fans surely focus on the lack of production from Nash during New York’s recent playoff runs, it’s hard to argue that he’s not one of the team’s most potent offensive players in general. The team obviously needs more from its star players in the postseason, but it’s not like Nash has been a disaster.
His numbers from last season do signal a significant decline from his peak, however. In 65 games with the Rangers last season, Nash recorded just 26 goals and 39 points in 65 games, good for a points per game ratio of 0.60, the lowest mark since his rookie year.
He was much better in his first year with the Rangers, going off for 21 goals and 42 points in 44 games. If there’s any reason for hope, it’s the fact that Nash was actually a highly productive player less than two years ago. And while his salary may seem high, the rising figures around the league and the premium on high-level players makes his deal more tolerable when he’s scoring. Assuming last year was just a blip, Nash should rebound to his above-average performance next season.