After months of speculation, Scott Howson has sent Rick Nash to the New York Rangers along with minor leaguer Steve Delisle and a conditional 3rd Round pick in 2013 for Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, Artem Anisimov, and a 2013 1st Round pick.
I do believe that the Rangers got the best end of this deal currently. However, my mind could change if Dubinsky and Erixon become household names playing for Columbus. We will see if Rick Nash is the high caliber talent that everybody has said that he is since coming out of the minors. I believe that he is, but he hasn't proven it yet. There are no excuses for him now. It is either sink or swim. Nash had a ready made excuse in Columbus with the lack of high end talent around him. How are you going to say that with the Blueshirts?
As for team prospects for the Rangers, this either causes the Rangers to have another big time scoring threat that will come through in the heat of the playoffs or cause them to lose some cohesion in the locker room and on the ice. I, for one, am leaning towards the latter. Nash has been great in the Olympics and playing for Team Canada. However, that is playing with Crosby, Staal, and other players that are the best in the country of Canada. I don't believe that the line of Nash-Richards-Gaborik will be enough to put the Rangers over the top. The loss of Dubinsky and Anisimov is something that the Rangers believe that they can overcome right away. I don't see this. I see the Rangers as the 4th best team in the East right now as they are currently constructed. I see the Penguins, Flyers, and Bruins as better teams right at this moment.
For Columbus, you could have a real good young defensive pairing for years with Exiron and Ryan Murray. Add in Jack Johnson, John Moore, and Nikita Nikitin, you have a young defensive corps that in time could be one of the best if not the best in the league. With Todd Richards as the coach and the experience he had in Minnesota and the youth movement there, I believe that the Blue Jackets are on the right track of rebuilding. The next thing will be getting a couple of veterans that can show the kids how to do things and contribute to a team that will need leadership. The Jackets will be in trouble if they cannot get a veteran that will play major minutes on the blue line and another veteran that plays in the Top 9 on the front end.