Shemie: Why the Rangers shouldn’t move any major assets for Rick Nash

By: Justin Shemie, Contributing Writer

In February, the trending conversation among NHL fans, media and teams is the trade deadline. Every year theres one or two star status players were looking out for that may be “trade bait” as fans and reporters.

This year that guy was Rick Nash who we later learned had requested a trade out of Columbus. He also gave GM Scott Howson a handful of teams that he would accept a trade to (Howson couldn’t just trade him anywhere since he has a No Trade Clause). One of the teams that had a chance at the ‘Nash Sweepstakes’ was the New York Rangers. The Rangers, who just lost in the Eastern Conference final to the New Jersey Devils in their best finish since 1997.

Since New York is one of the teams that Nash would accept a trade too, there was (and will continue to be at the end of the season) lots of speculation on whether Nash will join New York or not. It’s been reported that as a return, Howson would want one of either Michael Del Zotto or Ryan McDonagh, two top four defensemen who are under 25. He would also want there first or second round pick in either 2012 or 2013, one of their top prospects such as Chris Kreider or J.T Miller, and a roster player such as Brandon Dubinsky.

In my opinion, the Rangers were very wise to not make that trade for a bundle of reasons. Here is the basis of my argument:

Michael Del Zotto has a wealth of experience and talent at such a young age and is only going to keep improving. (Tim Kolupanowich/CM)

Michael Del Zotto: Del Zotto is a 21-year-old defensemen that has already played more than 200 NHL games. He just had his best season yet, putting up 41 points and a plus-20. According to, he averaged 22:26 minutes of ice time per game this season, meaning he played a top four role on one of the best defensive teams in the NHL at the age of 21 years old! Trading such a talented, mobile and smart defensemen that is nowhere near his peak yet would be a huge mistake for the short term and the long term.

Ryan McDonagh: Like Del Zotto, McDonagh is a very young (22 years old) and talented defensemen that has played an even more important role for the Rangers this season than Del Zotto himself. Despite not being as offensive as Del Zotto, he still managed 32 points and and a plus-25 while staying healthy all season. According to, he averaged 24:44 minutes of ice time per game and put up 118 hits and 182 blocked shots this season. McDonagh is given a huge amount of defensive responsibility by coach John Tortarella and has been used as a top pairing defensemen by the rangers this season.

Chris Kreider: Kreider was the Rangers’ 1st round pick (19th overall) in 2009. After finishing his third season at Boston College, the skilled center joined the Rangers for their series against the Ottawa Senators in the first round. Since then Kreider and the Rangers haven’t looked back. After putting up 45 points in 44 games at Boston College, he was dynamite for the Rangers in the playoffs, with five goals and seven points in 16 games and has been playing 16-18 minutes a night. Had the Rangers traded him to Columbus, they may have not been able to call themselves Eastern Conference finalists.

J.T Miller: The 2011 first round pick (15th overall) of the Rangers, Miller brings nice mix of skill, speed and tenacity. Although he may not pay dividends for the Rangers for a few years, he definitely has NHL potential and trading him would put the Blueshirts future at stake as would trading Kreider, McDonagh or Del Zotto.

Trading either of McDonagh or Del Zotto would be bad since they have the potential to guard the Blueshirts blue line for years to come and have been key in the Rangers playoff push this year. Keep in mind that neither of them have even come close to their peak yet.

Chris Kreider will be a great power forward like center in the near future. By not trading for Nash, the assets I have listed not only gives the rangers a balanced and deep team this year, it also adds stability to their team for next year.

Thanks to the Rangers sticking with their system, they have developed and matured prospects that are now key role players and offensive forces on their roster such as Del Zotto, McDonagh, Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan just to name a few. So it’s not rocket science to realize that it’s best to develop through your own system for the most part.


Coincidental Minors Archives

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Logo and website design by Shapestate Creative

%d bloggers like this: