St. Louis Blues Trade Prospect: Rick Nash Evaluation

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: The New York Rangers celebrate a goal by Rick Nash
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: The New York Rangers celebrate a goal by Rick Nash /

Every season, the St. Louis Blues end up linked with interesting names and some head scratchers in regards to trades. This year is no different as the names keep trickling in from the east.

The St. Louis Blues seem to be linked, however vaguely, with just about any trade partner from the east right now. The only person from the Western Conference we’ve covered at all is Jaromir Jagr.

While not directly named this time around, you have to figure the Blues are in the running for Rick Nash once again. According to MyNHLTradeRumors, Nash is again being potentially shopped around. I apologize for the weak structure of that sentence, but with the amount of times he’s been “shopped” you start to figure it’s not actually happening.

Before we evaluate the trade potential itself, let’s take yet another look at the man himself. Nash used to be an elite player that you could count on for 60 points or so. Time seems to be catching up to the big man in a hurry.

Right now, his numbers are not impressive at all. He has 13 goals and 10 assists through 48 games with the New York Rangers.

It must be said that the Rangers are not a great team this year. They currently reside in the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

However, that’s never stopped Nash before. He played on some of the worst Columbus teams the city ever saw and still scored 30-40 goals.

So, what’s the issue then? Is it simply age? Is he not happy in New York?

Age should not be that big of a problem. Nash is a bigger guy and bigger bodies break down sooner, but he’s only 33. 33 is older for a power forward, but he still should have a couple good years left.

Not being happy in New York is quite expectable, but unknown. Even those that love New York can get worn down by the constant attention and media barrage.

Maybe it’s just knowing that he’s been offered up this season or last. Larry Brooks of the NY Post quoted Nash as knowing there are likely offers on the table.

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"“I can control my performance. I can’t control what decisions the front office might make. I have a family and two kids in preschool, so it’s not something you want to really think about even though you might have to, but it’s what we all signed up for.“At the end of the day, it’s a business and management has to do what’s best for the organization. I’ve said before, I love it here and I want to be here. My focus is on helping the Rangers win and helping the young guys here progress.”"

That’s a great stock answer, but sometimes it is hard to actually give your best, no matter how hard you try, when other things are on your mind.

Nash is still on pace to equal or better his goal total from 2016-17, but that’s still far under what you expect from him. He has not really been that good for a few years.

Including half a season this year, his goal numbers have been 13, 23 and 15 with 23, 36 and 38 points. That is not exactly getting fans excited about adding him to your team.

Evaluating the trade potential, I throw this one out right away if the Rangers think they can get what Brooks is talking about. According to the Post and MyNHLTradRumors, the Rangers think they can get at least a player, prospect and a pick since that’s what the Buffalo Sabres want for Evander Kane and maybe more.

Maybe more? I’m sorry, but if a team gives up that much for Rick Nash right now, they are fools. You cannot examine these deals on name alone or you’ll get robbed.

Yes, Nash is still the bigger name. Kane is seven years younger and putting up better numbers this season. You cannot give the Rangers that price just because Nash USED to be a 60 point scorer. You’re not getting that player any more.

Nash is not done, but those days are not coming back either. If he gets to 25 goals and 35-40 points, it will be a huge success at this point.

Next: Max Pacioretty Trade Evaluation

Stat heads will be quick to point out that 13 goals would put Nash in fourth for the Blues. That does not justify giving up that much.

You can make the case that if you can rid yourself of another Jori Lehtera *coughDmitirjJaskincough* then that deal might be worth it. However, the prospects the Blues have seem capable of being 20 goal scorers and will make far less than the $7.8 million owed Nash this season or the money he will want in the offseason – he is a free agent.

This is one where you make the call, offer something low, but not insulting and see where it gets you. Anything resembling a player, pick and prospect demand from the Rangers beyond a starting point and you hang up the phone. It’s just not worth it anymore.