The Rick Nash trade saga is just about over, by most accounts. Darren Dreger broke the news that the Columbus Blue Jackets were shipping off Nash to the New York Rangers, who have been in this since the beginning, with multiple players being involved in the trade. New York was regarded as one of the few teams with enough firepower to make a trade happen since before the trade deadline a season ago.
So how did they do, and how much firepower did the Blue Jackets acquire? As it happens, the players involved appear to be a little underwhelming at face value. Dreger is the man of the hour again, with a Tweet on the players involved:
Dubinsky, Anisimov, Erixon and a 1st for Rick Nash.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 23, 2012
Again, that's just a bit underwhelming at this point. Brandon Dubinsky is the biggest name there, and he had a terrible year last season, with 10 goals and 24 assists to his credit. That being said, if Dubinsky proves that was a down year and that the player he was two seasons ago is who he'll be going forward, then the trade looks a little bit better. Artem Anisimov had 16 goals and 20 assists in 79 appearances last season and seems to have a lot of potential, but again, it's a far cry from the top-flight forward talent that general manager Scott Howson claimed the team needed to get in return.
Tim Erixon is the other piece in the trade. He hadn't yet cracked the starting lineup from the Rangers, after being traded there from the Calgary Flames. The Flames traded him because he refused to play for them, never a good sign for a young player. There's a sense of entitlement there that had many worried that he'll be a troublemaker with the Blue Jackets, but he's got solid potential either way.
On top of all that, there's a first-round pick, which may as well not even be included for how little those things are supposed to matter in trades involving players of Nash's caliber. It's disappointing to see that the Blue Jackets held out this long and reportedly turned down a huge offer from the Detroit Red Wings, and someone like Chris Kreider isn't even involved in the deal. Not to mention the fact that Aaron Portzline Tweeted that the Blue Jackets also are sending a third-round pick and a minor-league defenseman not named David Savard as part of the deal.
It's hard to imagine these three guys filling in for the production Nash was able to provide, and that's why this is so puzzling. There's a solid chance that the trade market really started to fizzle out near the end and the Blue Jackets had to take an offer that wasn't as good as one they'd had previously. Most teams backed off when they were asking for too much, and combined with the fact that Nash only had a short list of teams he'd be traded to, it's looking like Columbus should have struck a deal much sooner, potentially even last season before the trade deadline.
Lastly, there may still be some details forthcoming, not to mention this whole thing could fall apart at the very end, as Portzline Tweets that the trade call is not yet done. So we'll see where that goes.