Monday, February 27, 2012
Nash stays with Blue Jackets
With the Rangers bowing out of the Rick Nash sweepstakes on Sunday night, it was a pretty underwhelming trade deadline day for New York.
The Eastern Conference-leading Blueshirts made one minor move on the last day of transactions, acquiring hulking 6-foot-8, 258-pound defenseman John Scott from Chicago in exchange for a 2012 fifth-round draft pick.
As ESPNNewYork.com reported Sunday, the Rangers pulled out of the running for Nash on the eve of the deadline. It is believed that the asking price for the Blue Jackets’ coveted captain was too high.
And not just for the Rangers.
Despite a clear statement from Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick, on Saturday that his client wanted a deal done before the deadline, the former first overall pick will stay put with last-place Columbus.
It now appears likely that Nash will be shopped again by Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson leading up to the draft this June. However, Resnick told TSN on Saturday that the list of teams to which Nash would waive his no-movement clause and accept a trade would not change regardless of the timing.
The Rangers were one of a few teams on Nash’s approved list. It is believed the Rangers kept in touch throughout the day with Columbus, but Howson was never willing to budge from the steep asking price.
The potential acquisition of Nash was polarizing. Some feared that adding Nash at the cost of valuable young assets could disrupt an already-strong team chemistry. Others felt it could be the piece that could boost the Rangers to be Stanley Cup contenders.
Brandon Dubinsky, whose name surfaced in recent weeks as a potential trading chip to acquire Nash, said he didn't think he’d be dealt during the team’s morning skate at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
"I know this team wants me. I know how much I want to be here. I’m pretty confident that at 3:01 p.m. Eastern Standard Time that I’ll be a New York Ranger,” Dubinsky said Monday morning, about four and a half hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline.
Coach John Tortorella also expressed confidence in his team as currently composed.
“I like our team,” Tortorella said.
The Islanders made one late move, sending veterans Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau to Boston in the final minutes before the clock struck 3 ET. They received prospects Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin from the Bruins in the deal.
In addition to the last-minute swap, GM Garth Snow extended an offer to goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Nabokov is mulling the deal, one source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.
The Devils did not make any moves Monday, although GM Lou Lamoriello got an early start on activity back in January. The Devils acquired defenseman Marek Zidlicky from Minnesota on Friday and winger Alexei Ponikarovsky from Carolina last month.
--Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report