Rick Nash Is A Ranger, But Columbus Fans Shouldn't Kill Themselves Over It

On trade deadline day, Columbus's demands for Rick Nash were reportedly Brandon Dubinsky, Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh OR Michael Del Zotto, Derek Stepan OR Carl Hagelin, and a first-round draft pick. Well, Nash is officially a Ranger today, and Scott Howson did manage to get two of the items on his wish list—the two least valuable.

New York landed Nash for Dubinsky, a (late) first-round pick, prospect Tim Erixon, and Artem Anisimov. This is a roaring success for Howson, insomuch as he said he wanted two NHL-ready forwards. Scott Howson plays chicken by leaning into the turn long after the car has gone off the cliff.

In reality, it's the best haul the Blue Jackets could have possibly hoped for. Nash was not a happy man in Columbus, and his $7.8 million cap hit through 2018 was not making Columbus very happy either. In any other sport, a bad team dumping an onerous contract, even for nothing in return, would be applauded. Columbus got two pieces to plug in immediately, plus a top prospect and a draft pick. It's a trade you can't properly evaluate for a while. What if, five years from now, Erixson has blossomed and the Rangers haven't won a cup, and are still stuck with an old, expensive Rick Nash? It's entirely possible—but no one wants to wait that long for INSTANT TRADE ANALYSIS.

Here's your instant analysis: Brandon Dubinsky gets to go somewhere quiet where he won't get yelled at daily for not scoring. Tim Erixon, who refused to sign after being drafted by the Flames because he only wanted to play in New York, now has to go play in Columbus, the Calgary of America. Rick Nash gets centered by Brad Richards. And the Rangers somehow have $13M left in cap space. The Atlantic Division should be fun for everyone who's not an Islander fan. The Blue Jackets get the chance to play hockey without being overshadowed by a guy who doesn't want to play hockey for them.