For the past couple of years there has been speculation that the Columbus Blue Jackets were interested in trading their best player, All-Star forward Rick Nash. The plan for the Blue Jackets was to trade Nash and in return, obtain enough pieces to help the team build and hope to become contenders. Many people were wondering just what the Blue Jackets could get for Nash. Since Columbus was dealing their star, they wanted a lot in return. For a while, there was talk that the Jackets wanted a top six forward, a top prospect, and a first round pick, which is certainly a hefty price to pay for just one player. Unfortunately for Columbus they were unable to move Nash and after continuously hearing from teams about Nash, general manager Scott Howson decided it would be best for the team to keep Nash.
Last season the New York Rangers were one of the best teams in the National Hockey League. After earning the number one seed going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, expectations were higher than ever in New York. After defeating the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs, the Rangers then shifted their attention to the Washington Capitals. Just like the first series, it took the Rangers seven games to close out the series and eliminate their opponent. The Rangers were in a spot that they haven’t been in in over a decade, the Eastern Conference Finals. Heading into the conference finals, the Rangers had to match up with the red hot New Jersey Devils. With two teams left, only one was able to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Just like in the 96-97 season, the Rangers were unable to secure a victory to reach the Finals.
Once the offseason began, the Blue Jackets focused on trading Nash and the Rangers were focused on getting better to eventually make the Stanley Cup Finals. With one team trying to get rid of their superstar and one team trying to obtain one, it almost seemed like a match made in heaven. Finally, this past summer, progress was made with trading Rick Nash. After gradually attempting to trade Nash, the Blue Jackets had finally found a trading partner, the New York Rangers. For the Rangers, this trade was just what they needed. In order to obtain Nash, the Rangers were forced to give up a first round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Tim Erixon, Brandon Dubinsky, and Artem Anisimov. In return, the Rangers not only received Nash, but also defender Steven Delisle and a third round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.
With the big deal finally in place, both of the teams are satisfied with what they received. Columbus knew exactly what they are getting in Dubinsky. For the past three seasons, Dubinsky has not only been a consistent higher 70 game per season player, but he has also scored 132 points in the past three seasons. Artem Anisimov has also been quite consistent throughout his career and at the age of 24 Anisimov has plenty of time to improve. Not only did they get offensive help, but Tim Erixon is a 21 year old defender who has spent most of his professional career in Sweden. Last season Erixon played for the Connecticut Whales in the AHL and in his 52 games played in the AHL, he scored a total of 33 points. With Dubinsky and Anisimov shoring up the offense, Erixon will provide a good young prospect on the defensive side and with the extra first round pick; Columbus is looking good heading into the future.
For the Rangers they finally got what they think they needed. Although they gave up a lot to acquire Nash, Rick Nash has only had one season in which he scored fewer than 50 points and that was in his rookie season scoring 39. With the new superstar in New York, the Rangers and its fan base is excited for the up and coming season. With the addition of Nash, the Rangers are hoping that their offense can improve its numbers from last season. Last season the Rangers had their fair share of issues offensively.
Both of these teams received what they wanted this offseason, for the Blue Jackets and chance to rebuild and move on from the Nash Era and for New York the ability to have yet another big time offensive threat to go along with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. Both of these two teams have improved in the offseason and it is interesting to see which team gets the best out of this trade within the next couple of seasons.
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