It has been simmering for sometime now…the trade talk.
There have been rumours, quips from various GM’s, even full-scale “rumour” shows, all with little or nothing of substance behind them.
But, with one word, the anticipation around the trade deadline just took a huge bump up.
Seems a rather innocuous word, hardly something one would consider capable of initiating 29 GM’s frenzied examination of their rosters.
But, in this instance, it is the name that surrounds the word. Scott Howson confirmed he is “Open” to offers on star forward Rick Nash.
You’re not “open” to offers on Nash, and then publicly discuss that fact, unless you’re trading him. You don’t even say a word on the subject, publicly, unless a deal is done, either now, or in the off-season.
Nash may not be moving now…and unless it includes a package of prospects and multiple picks, he isn’t, but he is moving this summer, and both Howson and Nash know where.
Howson is just hoping to sweeten the deal, by increasing the demand, in hopes that some GM will lose his mind.
Always a good gamble.
But where would Nash be willing to go?
Here’s the thing, he isn’t going to want to go to Toronto or Montreal…too much pressure, especially if the price those teams paid made his trade a “must win” scenario, something which the raBid press would point to after anything but the best of performances.
No, Nash would want to go to a team that he could compliment, not “save”.
Boston, Detroit, Anaheim, Chicago Vancouver and maybe San Jose.
If I were a betting man, I’d say it’s one of either Boston or Vancouver, with Boston leading the charge.
Thanks to the Leafs they’ve had the bounty of some free top draft selections, so parting with a string of them now would be acceptable. They have a team capable of supporting Nash, not needing him to be the only horse in the stable. And maybe, most importantly, they have two legitimate number one goaltenders.