Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: rick nash
The Montreal Canadiens are 5-and-0 after defeating the New York Rangers 3-0 on Thursday evening, and Carey Price made a sensational glove save on Rick Nash to keep it 1-0 toward the end of the 2nd period:
Price also said hello to Chris Kreider behind the net:
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
There used to be a guy named Rick Nash who came to the Rangers with huge expectations, and who was shy, soft-spoken and gave canned answers.
At some point last spring, that Rick Nash was officially put out to pasture, and the man who took over is still a bit shy, but far more open with his emotions, with his self-criticism and utterly transparent about what he’s trying to accomplish.
“It’s the way sports works, you have to be honest with yourself, be honest with the media and with your fans,” Nash told The Post after practice on Friday as the team prepares for a preseason game against the Devils in Newark on Saturday. “I think that’s all you can do and everything else kind of takes care of itself.”
The “everything else” that Nash referred to is, in part, getting the Rangers over the hump and winning their first Stanley Cup since 1994. For the 31-year-old Nash, his 12 seasons in the league have produced an ample amount of individual accolades, and now his face pressed up against that shiny silver chalice is all he cares about.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
If you’re not scoring when it really counts, don’t expect to slink away unscathed.
“It’s true, but that’s the way it is,” Nash said when asked about the intense scrutiny he’s facing this postseason. “The high-paid guys that are supposed to score are supposed to in the playoffs. When that doesn’t happen, this is to be expected.”
Nash was dutiful in trotting out Tuesday afternoon to field reporters' questions, many of which were different versions of those that followed the Rangers’ 1-0 loss in Game 3. Game 4 is Wednesday night here, with the Caps up 2-1 in the series.
In his even-keeled, unassuming way, Nash said all the right things.
He said that he isn't satisfied with simply playing well. That he’s got to be better. That it’s only whether the team wins or loses that really matters to him.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
It is seven straight now without a goal for Nash, still one shy of 40 and now third in the league behind Alex Ovechkin’s 45 and Steven Stamkos’ 40. And if this slump — one goal in the past 10 and two in the past 14 — were almost inevitable, it raises uncomfortable questions at this time of year because of what happened last year (and the year before) in the playoffs.
It is the elephant in the room for the Blueshirts and for Nash, who is always diligent in all three zones, who always approaches matters with the utmost preparation and professionalism. But the record is indelible, at least until No. 61 can erase it, and that’s the record that shows Nash with three goals in the playoffs last year, all against Montreal, and four in 37 postseason games as a Ranger.
Given the spotlight (or is it, microscope?) under which he will operate from the opening puck drop of Game 1, it behooves the Big Easy to sprinkle one or two in the rest of the way so his mind is clear when the dance begins.
“That’s a good question,” Nash said to The Post in response to being asked how much of a goal-scoring slump becomes mental. “I want to stay positive, and be here for the team, but I know that me helping the team is by scoring.
“So, it’s frustrating, but I’m trying to stay positive and continue to do all of the things away from the puck and in the defensive zone that helps us win.
“It seems like I’m getting my opportunities. I’ve just got to stick with it.”
Hockey Night in Canada host George Stroumboulopoulos sits down with Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, New York Rangers forward Rick Nash and Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty to talk about their experience in the NHL.
Good way to spend nine minutes of your time today...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The next time Rick Nash tells you this is the way he played last year, nod politely, move on to another subject and thank him for his time.
Because Nash, as self-effacing as he has been dominant through the season’s first 40 games, not only didn’t play this way last season, few forwards in the NHL reached the consistent level of excellence the winger has displayed on a night-in, night-out basis … last year or any year.
The 30-year-old is the NHL’s best player, a breathtaking blend of speed, power and creativity who has been worth every dime of his $7.8 million cap charge. He and Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne are the front-runners for the Hart Trophy.
Hands please, if you’d vote for sending Nash to the Blue Jackets for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, a first-rounder and the equivalent of Tim Erixon.
from Steve Silverman of CBSNewYork,
Whether it was a summer-time message from head coach Alain Vigneault or a good, long look in the mirror, Nash is not the player he was in his previous two seasons with the Rangers.
Instead, he is much better. There’s a legitimate aggression to his game and he is dominating the box score on a near-nightly basis. He has scored 20 goals already and leads the Rangers with 33 points. He has a plus-13 that leads the team, and he is playing with a drive and an aggression that Rangers fans had heard about when the team first acquired him, but one that had not been seen before this season.
Teammate Derek Stepan said that Nash played just this way last year, but he was victimized by bad luck and that’s why he didn’t put the puck in the net.
Vigneault wasn’t having any of it. After Nash scored two goals last night against the Flames to pave the way for the Blueshirts in a 5-2 victory, he put it succinctly.
“We need him to play the way he is,” Vigneault said. “We’re no different than any other team in the league. You need your top players to be your top performers, and that’s what Rick is doing for us right now.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Six games into the new season, Nash is leading the NHL with seven goals. The Big Easy is finding open spaces and driving to the net, much as he did throughout his first nine seasons in Columbus and his first season in New York, the lockout-truncated 2012-13 in which he recorded 21 goals in 44 games.
Last year, Nash’s game changed after sustaining a concussion in the season’s third game, his second concussion within 10 months. He admitted to The Post during training camp he didn’t feel comfortable putting himself in certain situations after returning to the lineup following a 17-game absence.
Still, Nash again led the Rangers with 26 goals in 65 games. Still, he threw his body around with abandon during the playoffs and in the final. He led the tournament with 83 shots, five more than the Kings’ Marian Gaborik, who led the playoffs with 14 goals.
“I don’t know that I’m doing much different than in the playoffs,” Nash, who will remain on the Big and Tall Line with Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, said on Monday. “Except that the puck is going in.”
Nash has scored his seven goals on just 22 shots for an obviously unsustainable 31.8 shooting percentage.
“Coming back from the concussion, it was tough for me to feel comfortable on the physical side of it. You can say maybe I was a little ‘careful,’ but it wasn’t as much being ‘careful’ as just not being comfortable in certain situations.
“When you come back from a knee injury, you might not be immediately comfortable on cross-overs, or if you have a groin pull, you can’t shift on the edge to gain speed when you come back. You don’t feel comfortable doing those things that always come naturally.
“Coming back from a concussion, you want to get hit and prove to yourself that you can handle everything of that nature, but that’s hard to do in practices. It was different for me.”
-Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. More on Nash from Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
from Justin Bourne of The Score,
Getting Jeff Carter the eighth-toughest competition amongst the Kings is accomplishing that mission pretty well - it’s led to 24 points in 24 playoff games (Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown see the toughest opposition).
At the other end of the rink, Alain Vigneault might be missing something. He makes a clear effort to deploy his players as effectively as possible, but I think his usage of Rick Nash is off.
Nash is like Carter in a multitude of ways. He is also large (6’4”, 213 pounds), he is also fast, and he can also score goals. Since Carter joined the league in 2005-2006, he is 11th in total goals and 11th in goals-per-game. Nash is fifth and third, respectively, in those categories over that same time. Like Carter, Nash doesn’t need his hand held. You could put him with me and my cat Jiggs, and he’s still getting an elite number of shots per game (basically like it was in Columbus), and that leads to goal creation.
But for all his raw skill, Rick Nash isn’t built to accent someone else’s abilities. For all his raw dominance, he’s just not a great complimentary player. He might create chances for linemates by driving the puck to the net and getting shots, but those type of opportunities - putbacks, scramble whacks and the like - can be buried by basically anyone. You don’t need to run him out there with a center like Derek Stepan, because he’s not a tic-tac-toe type creator.
Jonathan Quick made a pair of absolutely remarkable, beautiful backhand paddle saves en route to a shutout as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Rangers 3-0 on Monday night...
But I'd argue that the Kings played so very well in shutting down six Rangers power plays and stifling secondary scoring chances to the point that had Quick surrendered goals on both of the above-listed instances, all the Kings needed was this last-second break to really put the hammer down on the Rangers;
This is the Rick Nash I know, driving to the net, using his body to keep defenders away.
I do believe I saw a bit of this in game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final but will he build upon that game and continue to take the puck to the net or will he make a half circle and then head to the boards?
The Rangers need the Rick Nash of old tonight!
That was most certainly intriguing. For the second consecutive game, the Los Angeles Kings surrendered a 2-0 lead; for the second consecutive game, the Kings forced overtime, overcoming both the Rangers' relentless attack and their own defensive mistakes (Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene did not have the best nights in their own end); and for the second consecutive game, the Los Angeles Kings persevered and prevailed, with Dustin Brown tipping Willie Mitchell's shot past Henrik Lundqvist 10:26 into the second OT period.
Los Angeles prevails 5-4, and now the series gets interesting: both teams will have to try to get their players to bed sooner than later as 9 AM Pacific Daylight Time flights are on the Sunday docket, and the teams will play three games in five nights, so we may see the kind of mental fatigue that played into tonight's score leak its way into regulation time action.
Justin Williams had 3 assists, Willie Mitchell had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Quick stopped 34 shots for LA; Derik Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan McDonagh had 1-goal-and-1-assist games for the Rangers, Rick Nash had 8 shots, and Henrik Lundqvist (who may or may not have issued a Dustin Brown-style dive at one point--quite a bit of diving in this series!) stopped 39 for New York.
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Tags: derick+brassard, dustin+brown, henrik+lundqvist, jonathan+quick, justin+williams, los+angeles+kings, mats+zuccarello, matt+greene, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+mcdonagh, willie+mitchell
While the Montreal Canadiens were worried about their goaltending, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final, the goaltender opposite Dustin Tokarski stole the show, as the AP's recap of the New York Rangers' 3-1 win reports:
Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves and Martin St. Louis scored in the second period as the New York Rangers earned a 3-1 victory over the Carey Price-less Montreal Canadiens on Monday.
The Rangers lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final 2-0 heading back to New York for Game 3 on Thursday and Game 4 on Sunday.
St. Louis scored a day after he and his teammates attended the funeral of his mother, who died just before Mother's Day. The Rangers have rallied around the grieving veteran and have won five in a row.
New York's Rick Nash also scored while Ryan McDonagh added a goal and an assist to give the defenseman six points in the opening two games of the series.
Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal, which outshot New York 41-30.
The AP's recap continues, and here's a highlight clip:
The New York Rangers' salary structure is quite top-heavy, so both the Rangers' beat writers and those following the team from afar have suggested that the Rangers will have to use a cap-compliance buyout on either Rick Nash or Brad Richards.
The combination of Brad Richards' resurgence under Alain Vigneault (to the tune of 51 points for his Capgeek-listed $6.67 million cap hit) and Rick Nash's struggles (39 points in 63 games and a no-show come playoff time for a cap hit of $7.8 million) have those in the know suggesting that Nash is the odd man out.
This morning, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson wonders where Nash's game went given that the 6'4," 213-pound winger's become a perimeter player in the first of three "Hockey World" columns:
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Tags: adam+oates, alex+tanguay, antti+niemi, barry+trotz, brad+richards, colorado+avalanche, marian+hossa, new+york+rangers, paul+holmgren, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, ryan+miller, san+jose+sharks, scotty+bowman
"The chances are there, it seems like each night I get two 'A' chances and a couple of shots from the outside, but it's frustrating. It's not one of those things where you sit back and say, 'It'll come.' It's frustrating. We need goals now and it hasn't been easy."
-Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. More on Nash from Dan Rosen of NHL.com.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The immediate reviews were scathing.
Nash was going to have real players to play with in Manhattan — like Brad Richards — and would be so much more than he’d been able to be in Columbus. Fifty goals was the minimum, experts figured.
The old cliché of the-team-that-gets-the-best-player-wins-the-deal was trotted out. And poor Howson was treated like a country bumpkin for his efforts, like he’d been taken to the cleaners by wily old Glen Sather.
Eight months later, Howson was fired.
Well, here we are less than two years after the trade, and suddenly Howson, now a senior executive with the Edmonton Oilers, doesn’t look quite so dumb, does he?
The Jackets are loaded with young talent, including power forward Kerby Rychel of the Guelph Storm, a likely participant in the Mastercard Memorial Cup next week who was selected with that first-round pick acquired in the Nash deal. Dubinsky was a major force in the first round against Pittsburgh, Anisimov is a regular and Erixon has earned some NHL work.
“I think everyone should have a chip on their shoulder to perform, to get the job done. Last year finished off not the way we wanted it to, so I think it’s important to go into the playoffs with that chip on us.”
-Rick Nash of the New York Rangers as they prepare for the Philadelphia Flyers. More from Josh Thomson of Rangers Report.
“One thing I’ve prided myself on is never burning bridges or cutting ties, I love Columbus. I love the ownership. It’s just the time we were at … it wasn’t working. At the time, I thought that was best for my career, but I’ve never burned bridges. The McConnell family (which owns the team) made me into who I am today.”
“I don’t know if this sounds bad or not, but I’m really excited that the Blue Jackets are doing well and they’re in a good spot (in the standings). The fans deserve it. They’ve been through a lot with 13 seasons and only four playoff games.”
-Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. Nash will play in Columbus tomorrow for the first time since the trade. More from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Nash said the comparatively lengthy recovery process attached to what was his second concussion in eight months has altered his perspective.
“I’ve come to realize that with all this stuff going on, I’m going to have more than half of my life to live after I retire,” said the 29-year-old. “There’s a lot to life after hockey.
“Headshots are a serious problem in the game. You see them all the time,” said Nash, whose team will play in Dallas on Thursday to open a five-game trip including stops in Nashville, Tampa Bay, Florida and Boston. “You watch the highlights and it seems like there’s a headshot every night.
“Something has to change.”
(Brad) Stuart was suspended for three games for the blow in question. Nash does not question that. He doesn’t assign the burden of affecting change to VP Brendan Shanahan, the Department of Player Safety or the NHL. The burden, he believes, is on the players to change their behavior.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Rick Nash has targeted either Tuesday at the Garden against the Bruins or Thursday in Dallas for his return from the concussion that has sidelined him since Oct. 8.
“As long as there are no setbacks,” Nash said following the Rangers’ morning skate on Saturday. “Everything has been positive, and I’ve been pushing it every day.”
Nash, who will have missed 17 straight games following the weekend’s matches on Saturday at the Canadiens and Sunday at home against the Kings, has skated eight straight days. He was cleared for contact beginning with Friday’s practice.
“I don’t know if there’s going to be a moment [when I make the decision to play]. I think I need some more down-low work and a bit more practice in game-like situations,” Nash said. “I’ve really only had two practices with the team, not counting a pregame skate.
“It takes some time to get the legs back, but I think I’m feeling better than I thought I would. I seem to be keeping up with guys who have been playing, so that’s definitely a positive.”
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
"The plan is each day to do more and more on the ice and in the gym and see if any symptoms pop up," said Nash, who has scored 30 or more goals seven times. "And as we move along, just kind of work my way back into game situations. I've been in touch with the doctors the whole time, obviously, we'll keep them in the loop. It's day by day. We'll figure it out tonight and go to a new game plan in the morning."
The next step would be a full-team practice, then taking contact in others.
But Nash, who is signed through the 2018-19 season with a cap hit of $7.8 million per year, said there was no need to hurry back into the lineup.
"When you look at it, New York's invested a lot in me and I've invested a lot in them," he said. "I think even if we were losing, it would be stupid to rush back, just because of that. It's a long-term contract and we want to make sure from both sides that I come back at 110 percent ready to play."
Take this for what you will. The New York Post's Larry Brooks suggests that the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers may be pursuing a trade because the Rangers have come up short on offense minus the concussed Rick Nash:
The Oilers dispatched a scouting expedition featuring their president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, general manager Craig MacTavish and special adviser Mark Messier to the Garden on Monday for the Rangers’ 2-1 defeat to the Ducks.
Edmonton, which has opened 3-10-2 under first-year coach Dallas Eakins, is believed to be accepting offers for veteran winger Ales Hemsky while also exploring the market for second-year winger Nail Yakupov, the first overall selection in the 2012 Entry Draft.
Even if interested in Hemsky, the Blueshirts would have to maneuver to get under the cap in order to accommodate the 30-year-old. Hemsky is on the final year of a contract worth a $5 million cap charge and is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.
from Andrew Gross of The Record,
With each passing day of silence, the questions grow louder when it comes to Rick Nash.
Not so much when the Rangers' elite right wing will return from his latest concussion, because any absence due to concussion is, by definition, indefinite.
But, there is scientific evidence each successive concussion heightens the chances of another, quite possibly with long-lasting effects.
So, will Nash and the Rangers have to deal with more in the future? And, if so, exactly what kind of player can the Rangers expect Nash, who turned 29 this off-season, to be over the course of his $62.4 million deal, which runs through 2018.
from Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants,
Rick Nash will miss at least the Rangers’ next two games after suffering a head injury on Brad Stuart’s shoulder check in Tuesday night’s 9-2 loss at San Jose, for which the Sharks defenseman was suspended three games by the NHL on Wednesday.
The Rangers announced today that Nash has been sent back to New York so he will not dress for tonight’s game at Anaheim or Saturday’s game at St. Louis.
Newsday’s Steve Zipay, out in Anaheim for today’s morning skate, further reports that Nash will not be undergoing further evaluations, he just does not feel well enough to play at this time. After Saturday, the Rangers do not play again until Wednesday at Washington so Nash and the Rangers do have the luxury of some built-in recovery time.
continue for more on the Rangers...
As Paul noted, Tim Thomas appeared to tweak his groin or some othe part of his "lower body" in the Florida Panthers' 2-1 loss to Philly on Tuesday, and while I was preparing to have my beard trimmed for the first time in six years, Pro Hockey Talk's Ryan Dadoun notes that Niklas Backstrom got dinged in the Wild's 3-2 loss to Nashville...
[T]he Minnesota Wild are reporting that netminder Niklas Backstrom is done for the night due to a similar problem.
Backstrom lasted just 11:14 minutes against the Nashville Predators and surrendered two goals on five shots. He sustained the injury when Nashville forward Eric Nystrom crashed into him and seemed to accidentally jam Backstrom’s leg against the post.
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Tags: brad+stuart, eric+nystrom, erik+gudbranson, florida+panthers, minnesota+wild, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, niklas+backstrom, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, san+jose+sharks, scott+hartnell, tim+thomas
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
As much as the move was talked about, extensively rumoured, and considered a formality for about six months, Rick Nash didn’t know much about New York City, in all of its oddball glory, until he was actually traded there and started living in the Big Apple.
Laymen view it as part Woody Allen movie and part Lou Reed song. The reality is something far different – less rather than more, and quieter than you think.
“You’re not in the tourist areas – which I didn’t know,” Nash explained, during a visit at Rangers training camp in the Rocky Mountains. “Before I went there, I thought I was going to live in Times Square – and walk out the door and there are millions of people there. It’s totally the opposite. It’s a lot more chill. You’re in the different areas that feel like neighbourhoods, but still you get the amazing restaurants, the shows, whatever it might be.
“It has to be, easily, the greatest city in the world. There’s always something to do, always something going on, so much life, so much energy. I really do love it there.”
New York embraced Nash, too – although it was a complicated transition, given Nash arrived in town for NHL training camp and soon realized a lockout was on again.
from Aaron Portzline of hte Columbus Dispatch,
When the trade went down, Howson and the Blue Jackets were blistered by many in the national hockey media.
“This is a disaster for the CBJ,” said former Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean, who now works for Canadian TV network Sportsnet.
ESPN’s Barry Melrose said, “I don’t think that’s enough (in return).”
TSN’s Aaron Ward said, “I feel bad for Columbus.”
Clearly, the Blue Jackets gave up the best player in the trade. Nash is a perennial All-Star, an Olympic gold medal winner, etc.
But the trade had a transformative effect on the Blue Jackets, both on the ice and in the room. Dubinsky and Anisimov helped set the tone for what became a much faster, hard-working team.
“It gave us depth,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. “We went into the season knowing our strength was our defense, but with Arty and Brandon being able to play so well down the middle, it really stabilized our lineup, gave us more competitive lines, and we used those guys in just about every aspect of the game.”
Talk like this has been going on all day...
from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
STRANG: How much of a change has it been travel-wise coming from Columbus?
NASH: You spend a lot more nights in your own bed, that's for sure. The biggest thing is the time change, too. Everywhere we traveled, except Detroit, was a time change. So you're always getting back an hour later, obviously getting there an hour earlier and, besides Detroit and maybe Nashville, everything is pretty much over two-hour flights. So, here we're taking a train or 30-minute flights. It's just a lot better. A lot better travel. You're not on a plane for two hours, getting home really late. It is definitely a perk, playing in the East.
STRANG: Have you taken much time to reflect back on the circumstances that brought you here? The trade deadline and everything that followed?
NASH: I have a short-term memory in that situation. That six months is definitely behind me. Everything worked out the way I wanted it to.
STRANG: How has that transition been, coming to New York? Are you pretty adept at hailing a taxi now, navigating the city?
Unfortunately Nash would have scored against his own goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
"This is what I dreamed of. This is what I think NHL hockey is -- playing in an Original Six market, playing in a sold-out building every night. Growing up in Toronto, this is what hockey feels like."
-Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. Nash appeared on ESPN radio in New York today and you can read more from Nash by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.
No matter where you choose to place the blame for Nash’s departure – management or player – trading the franchise player is a sad day for any franchise. It’s not the end of the world, and certainly not the end of the franchise. But it represents the end of an era in Columbus, one that held such promise but never quite delivered. Over the last few days, more than a few people have reached out via email or Twitter to say that their family members – sons, daughters, moms, etc. – actually cried last Monday when he was traded. Most hardcore sports fans will understand that type of emotional response to sports (especially if you root for the Browns). The sun will rise again for the Blue Jackets. In fact, it already has risen, with the arrival of three promising players and a first-round draft pick. But Nash is moving on, and a few young hearts are hardened. The lost generation of Blue Jackets fans has now lost its guy.
-Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers where you can read 60 more thoughts on Rich Nash.
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
Now 28, Nash, a distinguished winger with a resume that includes five All-Star appearances, an Olympic gold medal and seven seasons of between 30 and 41 goals, is a Blueshirt, acquired in the hope that he can be the missing piece for a gritty team that advanced to the Eastern Conference finals last season.
“This changes the complexion of our team,” Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said. “You don’t get a chance to make a deal like this very often.”
Sather isn’t alone in that assessment.
“Where do you find a 6-4, 235-pound guy with hands, who can skate, is entering his prime, with limited miles on him—although every night he was the No. 1 focus, tightly checked, man-on-man, because teams knew if you shut down Rick Nash, you beat Columbus?” asked Doug MacLean, who drafted Nash first overall in 2002 and was the Blue Jackets’ general manager from 1998 to 2007. “Now people are telling me he’s overrated. Are you serious?”
Don’t be fooled by the low-key demeanor, said MacLean, who compared Nash’s personality—and development—to former Red Wing and Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman. “Quiet guys do their talking on the ice,” MacLean said. “When Stevie was captain, and I was in Detroit, at first he struggled a bit, but he matured and as he was surrounded by better players, he went to another level.”
more (normally a paid sub., but this one doesn’t appear to be)...
In a three minute interview with Sportsnet, Nash touches on numerous topics.
Watch the interview below…
from Katie Strang of ESPN New York,
After spending the past ten years of his career with the small-market Columbus Blue Jackets, Rick Nash knows he is in for a drastic change of scenery with the New York Rangers.
Shipped to New York in a blockbuster trade on Monday—a painstaking deal that took five months to complete—the 28-year-old star winger said he’s ready for the challenge of playing underneath the bright lights of Broadway.
“I think the main thing was looking at the team, looking at what they’ve done over the years. It’s something I’d love to be part of. I’d love to help them out. I think the big-market is just a bonus that comes along with it,” said Nash, who hails from Brampton, Ontario.
“Growing up around Toronto, this is kind of what I’m used to for hockey. It was a bit of a change playing in Columbus. After being there for nine-ten years, I think I’m looking forward to seeing all this.”
added 3:18pm, Rich Nash talks about the move to New York in a short video below…
Will be multiple players involved in Nash trade to NYR. Contracts are being reviewed, etc. All to be done before trade call.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 23, 2012
Dubinsky, Erixson and 1st believed to be 3 of 4 pieces included in Nash trade.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 23, 2012
Dubinsky, Anisimov, Erixon and a 1st for Rick Nash.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 23, 2012
I would imagine the minor leaguer going to NYR from CBJ is because CBJ would have been over 50 contract limit with additions from NYR.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 23, 2012
Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson is looking to acquire a couple of NHL-ready forwards in any deal for forward Rick Nash.
Speaking with TSN’s Gino Reda on Friday’s edition of That’s Hockey, Howson talked about what it would take for him to pull the trigger on a deal for his captain.
“If we do complete a trade, we’re trading out a 30 to 40 goal scorer,” said Howson. “Defence is probably the strongest part of our team if we look at it today, so we’re looking to get some NHL forwards back first and foremost.”
Howson also indicated that he will continue to be patient and is comfortable holding on to the nine-year NHL veteran for as long as it takes.
“We don’t have a deadline,” said Howson. “Rick’s under contract and we’ll continue to work at this…and we’ll hope we get a resolution to this.”
from Rob Oiler of the Columbus Dispatch,
Rick Nash is unhappy in Columbus, but during his nine seasons here, he always has acted professionally. Unless that changes — and it is possible; a prolonged holdout meant to force a trade would be a big shift in professional behavior — the CBJ’s best player will remain as such. He will perform on par with his skill, not his employment status.
But even if Nash’s professionalism goes south, so what? Negative locker-room issues often are overrated. Many examples exist in which teammates tore at each other behind the scenes but still excelled on the field. That is not to say disruption should be sought; the 2011 Boston Red Sox showed that dysfunction and drinking in the clubhouse don’t always mix.
Context counts. Bickering teammates is a different problem than players barking at management, which is different from a disgruntled star who complains about his predicament. The sport matters, too. Football seems to benefit/suffer more than most sports from good/bad chemistry.
But regardless of the shaky situation, a venomous atmosphere is not always a death knell to success.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
“Most people I know feel like there’s more to give there yet with Rick,” said former NHL forward Ed Olczyk, now an analyst for NBC and Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “There’s still that untapped ability. You wonder what numbers he could put up if he played on a really good team with really good offensive players.
“Teams should be licking their chops to get this guy in their lineup. He has a chance to be a top-three goal-scorer in the league. Somebody is going to hit a grand slam with this guy.”
It has been suggested that Nash’s performance in the Olympics and world championships stand as proof he would be a superstar on a team with at least one other All-Star player.
“Some guys are just OK when they play with superstars. They get lost in the shuffle,” said Brian Engblom, a former NHL defenseman who is an analyst for NBC. “Rick goes the other way. He becomes a dominant player on big stages like that, and I’m sure GMs have taken note of that.”
There’s also a feeling around the NHL that Nash belongs among the second or third tier of stars in the league, an All-Star who hasn’t made his teammates better and a player whose performances have tailed off the past few seasons.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Now, can you imagine Nash playing with Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg in Detroit, and drumming the Jackets six times a season? Imagine Red Wings fans scalping off half the house at Nationwide Arena, reveling in the carnage and throwing seafood on the ice? Imagine this going on for six or eight or a dozen years?
Please, say it ain’t so. The Red Wings are supposed to be archrivals. They play three hours up the road in Michigan. They are in the same division. Chase them, catch them and maybe, eventually, beat them — but do not help them.
Do not give them the only star the Jackets have ever had, the franchise’s career leader in every important offensive category, the man who was supposed to be the cornerstone of the enterprise. To do so would be a crime against sport. Is that an overstatement? I do not think so. Think of the fans. Think of the soul of the operation. It should have a soul, should it not?
There is only one scenario whereby Nash-to-Detroit would be acceptable, and that is if the Wings give up GM Ken Holland, coach Mike Babcock and a goaltender (preferably, Jimmy Howard). Absent such a weighty return, the Jackets are no closer to beating the Wings for another generation. Is that not the point, to beat them?
“Yes, we want to make our team better — always — but never with a player unless we are on the ‘A’ list.” I believe, and I think our fans would echo this, it is a privilege to play in Ottawa.
“You want more money? A bigger car or house? Lots of other teams will spend like idiots. We are a true TEAM with REAL special and smart fans. I don’t care who you are, you have to WANT to play in Ottawa. That’s what defines us.”
-Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, but not mentioning the name of Rick Nash. More from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
• Philadelphia is most definitely on Nash’s list of approved destinations. The Flyers have been in on talks with the Blue Jackets regarding Nash for months now. Last week’s trade of James van Riemsdyk to Toronto does not create a roadblock to a deal, we’re told, only a hurdle. The Jackets liked van Riemsdyk and would have gladly taken him in the deal. But the Flyers have plenty of pieces still that could get it done.
• The New York Rangers still appear to make the most sense, based on their organizational configuration. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports Howson is insistent on getting Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh or Derek Stepan—one of those three, if not two of them—in any deal for Nash. We’ve not been able to confirm those names on this end, but it’s been suggested that most of the clubs still interested in Nash have presented a couple/few possible packages.
• Detroit is in the running. Yes, the Red Wings, the should-be Central Division rival of the Blue Jackets. We’re told the Blue Jackets would swallow hard and trade him to Detroit, knowing they’d face him six times per season for the next, what, 22 years? Really, Nash probably has 10 seasons left, but for disheartened, demoralized Blue Jackets fans it would seem that kind or torment. Many have asked what the Red Wings would possibly offer. That’s unclear, and we won’t speculate.
• You just know San Jose is in the weeds. The Sharks have an offer on the table. It could be sweetened.
more on the Blue Jackets…
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
All eyes across the NHL are fixed on the Blue Jackets, who are actively shopping captain Rick Nash in hopes of making the biggest trade in the brief history of the organization. And, oh yeah, there’s a draft going on tomorrow.
The Blue Jackets have shown much patience in making a Nash trade, turning down offers that weren’t to their liking at the NHL trade deadline in February. GM Scott Howson continues to insist that he’ll wait as long as it takes to get the right return for Nash, even if it means going beyond the start of free agency on July 1, and even if it means Nash remains a Blue Jacket heading into next season.
Can you say elephant gestation?
Howson and Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick, are going to meet this afternoon in Pittsburgh, site of the 2012 NHL Draft. The message from Resnick will be loud and clear: “Trade him!” The message coming back from Howson will be just as succinct: “Not until the deal is right.”
Even if the Blue Jackets agree to a trade with a club on Nash’s preferred list, they have to seek approval ffor the trade rom Nash and Resnick. As of noon on Thursday, that has not happened.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators have apparently made a strong pitch for Rick Nash.
Multiple solid sources have confirmed rumblings of Ottawa’s interest, saying GM Bryan Murray has indeed talked with the Columbus Blue Jackets about acquiring the two-time 40-goal scorer.
One insider went a step further by telling Sun Media the players the Senators proposed to send back in the deal for the left winger, a scenario confirmed by another source.
For the just-turned 28-year-old Nash, it appears the Senators are prepared to trade 2011 first-round pick Mika Zibanejad, winger Nick Foligno and goalie Ben Bishop.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
By all appearances, the Jackets are standing pat. They are comfortable and confident that President Mike Priest, Howson, senior adviser Craig Patrick and Tyler Wright, the rookie co-director of amateur scouting, will seize their draft opportunities, unearth a capable goaltender, extract a windfall in a Nash trade and “refresh” rather than rebuild the roster. Given their recent track record, the confidence is not justifiable.
(John) Davidson is not in the picture, which is to say that there is no fresh thinking in the front office — and a Nash trade is all but a fait accompli. The likeliest scenario is that a deal will be consummated on Thursday, on the eve of the draft, or on Friday night, before or after Bettman’s convocation address. The deal will be a blockbuster, inherently, and it will set the draft floor on its ear.
There is a lesser chance that a Nash trade will not happen until the free-agent market opens on July 1, but you probably will not have to hold your breath that long.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
NHL sources have told The Dispatch that as many as seven teams have had “significant” trade conversations with Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson about Nash during the past 10 days and that a handful of other clubs — three or four, maybe more — have “kicked the tires” to see what a deal might cost them.
Most of the teams known to be expressing interest are the ones that expressed interest at the February trade deadline.
The New York Rangers, stocked with young, promising forwards, still appear to be the most likely fit for Nash, and their desire might have been heightened during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Rangers’ 2.15 goals per game in the playoffs was the second-lowest figure of any club to advance past the first round.
Also known to have considerable interest are San Jose, Philadelphia, Toronto and Carolina, apparently a late entry, sources said.
The Blue Jackets have set their demands high — too high, some general managers have suggested — for Nash, the owner of almost every meaningful Blue Jackets record.
Rick Nash held a press conference this morning…
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Q: Why did you go to Scott Howson in January and ask him to trade you?
A: I was informed by management that there was a rebuild, a reshape, of the team, and I personally felt I could be a huge part of that, toward bringing assets in. I think that was in my view that was the best thing for the team, the organization, and personally for my career.
Q: Does this say, Rick, that you don’t believe in the direction the club has taken?
A: I think I answered that question when I signed my long-term deal. I believe in ownership, I believe in Scott Howson. I love being a Blue Jacket, love the city, love the fans – and that is something that will never change.
continued or watch the conference below…