Though it's perfectly feasible that the Columbus Blue Jackets want to keep Rick Nash, pay him his salary and enjoy his high level of play, they could still be shopping him around, looking for potential ways to improve. There's plenty of rumors swirling around regarding a potential trade before the February 27 deadline, but whether the Blue Jackets are shopping him or other teams are inquiring about him, there's no doubting that there's teams talking if Columbus is willing to listen.
According to the New York Post, one team in particular is now known: the New York Rangers. There have reportedly been some preliminary talks regarding Nash and a potential trade, which apparently have gone far enough to include talks of specific players and picks:
The Post had been told the opening asking price for the 6-4, 220-pounder who has spent his entire career with the Blue Jackets following his first-overall selection in the 2002 Entry Draft is in excess of the package speculated to be Brandon Dubinsky, Boston College can't-miss prospect Chris Kreider and a first-round draft choice.
The article goes on to note potential problems with this trade for the Rangers, though it's unlikely this actually reflects the asking price for the Blue Jackets, who are in a pretty high position of power. The only thing limiting that position of power is the fact that Nash has a no-trade clause in his contract, which means the Blue Jackets can't pick where to send him. They can, of course, trade him to another team if he signs off on it, but that does potentially limit their power.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets met last week to discuss the possibility of trading Nash. They also had some quotes from Nash, who makes it clear that he is fond of where he is right now and that he wants to focus on hockey:
"The last couple of weeks there have been so many rumors," Nash said, "and when a team loses, more rumors keep on surfacing. That's it seems to be right now, is just rumors. I'm a Blue Jacket right now. I've played my whole career here and it's a special place to me. So as of right now I'm a Blue Jacket."
This is often the norm for a player potentially on the trade block, because if a trade doesn't surface and they've already went public about wanting to be moved, it could cause a rift with the original team. Still, Nash has played with Columbus his entire career and it's pretty clear he means what he says when he says it's a special place to him.