The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/16/12 at 03:32 AM ET
Edit/update: Whoops, wrong blog. Was meant for KK hockey, not Wings consumption: We’ve gotten to the point where Rick Nash trade deadline frenzy has reached Pythonesque levels, with even reasonable media types throwing out team names—to the point that I half expect someone to say that Ak Bars Kazan will try to out-bid HIFK Helsinki for Nash’s services—so in lieu of asking what also floats in water (Small rocks! Gravy! Churches!), I’ll defer to defer to the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts and USA Today’s Kevin Allen. Both columnists duly note that while Nash may very well be in play, the Blue Jackets could and probably should wait for a few more months before pressing the franchise reset button:
Even in attempting to handicap the Nash-bidding field, the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts suggests as much…
It may be in the Blue Jackets’ best interest to wait until the off-season to trade Nash, as there may be more teams willing to make serious offers. Jackets general manager Scott Howson has already been told by some of his peers that is what they prefer since it’s easier to deal with the salary cap issue then.
However, Howson will still need Nash to waive his no-movement rights for any trade. Howson will be looking for a combination of young established players, top prospects and a first-round draft pick. His needs are greatest in goal and on defence.
And USA Today’s Kevin Allen agrees that a combination of CBA-related factors and the simple fact that the Blue Jackets have to offer more than a Joe Thornton deal’s bounty to the people who’ve paid good money for Nash and Steve Mason jerseys yield circumstances which make a summertime transaction much more palatable:
To defend a Nash trade to their fans, the Blue Jackets have to land a package that includes multiple NHL-ready players. That would seem to eliminate most contenders as potential trading partners because they would want to add Nash to their roster without subtracting multiple regulars. The best offers contenders can make today would likey be prospect- or draft pick-oriented. That not what Columbus needs.
If they are trading Nash, they need to view it as an auction, instead of a trade. They have to try to move him to the highest bidder of assets. The Blue Jackets should say the minimum bid is two quality players to put directly in their lineup, a prospect with star potential and a first-round draft pick. They have to get help now, and in the future. Nash might score 50 or more goals if he is moved to a talent-laden team.
If the Blue Jackets hold a Nash auction this summer before the draft, they might have 20 or more teams bidding. The perception about Nash is that he might turn into a monstrous force if he is surrounded with the right talent. A team might give up far more than the minimum bid to get him. Can you imagine him playing for San Jose or Vancouver or Detroit or the New York Rangers? Those teams all could offer more this summer than they can now. As much as every team would want Nash, depth is crucial heading into the playoffs. They can’t afford to create two or three holes in the name of landing him. Nash has a $7.8 million salary cap, and it would be easier for teams to make that work this summer.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.