Monday, February 27, 2012

Rangers Acquire D John Scott While Rick Nash Stays Put

As many expected, the NHL trade deadline came and went today without any gigantic moves being made. Shane Doan didn't go anywhere. Ray Whitney didn't go anywhere. Bobby Ryan didn't go anywhere. And above all else, Rick Nash didn't go anywhere.

The Rangers made only one trade on the day, acquiring 6-foot-8, 270-pound defenseman John Scott from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a fifth round draft pick in this year's draft. Scott is basically a 6th/7th defenseman. He's suited up in only 29 games this year with the Hawks and has one assist with 48 penalty minutes. He's also spent some time playing forward this season with Chicago on the fourth line.

It's a depth move, but one that I don't really quite understand. If the Rangers were going to trade for a defenseman I felt all along it would only be a deal to bring in someone with a big shot who could help the power play. The Rangers already have quite a glut of 6th/7th defensemen on the roster with Jeff Woywitka, Steve Eminger, Anton Stralman and Stu Bickel. I really don't think Scott is an upgrade over any of those guys, and I have to wonder how often he'll actually suit up for the Rangers. It would be a shame if the trade for Scott spells the end for Stu Bickel because I think he's been a very steady utility type of player for the Rangers this season.

The biggest news of the day, though, was the trade that wasn't made - that, of course, being Rick Nash. It sounded for a while like the Rangers were really the only team left in the race for Nash and if he was going to be traded at all it would've been to New York, but it never happened. Darren Dreger Tweeted shortly after the 3 p.m. deadline that the Rangers reportedly made a "mammoth offer" at the last second to acquire Nash, but Columbus declined. Dreger said he didn't know the specifics of what the offer entailed, but I'm sure speculation will be running rampant over what Glen Sather was willing to give up. It'll also be interesting to see if the Rangers reopen talks with the Blue Jackets this summer if Columbus make it known that Nash will once again be available.

Everything I heard leading up to today was that Columbus had not budged from their astronomical asking price for Rick Nash. In fact, there was one report yesterday that said the Jackets had actually increased their asking price. That really just doesn't make much business sense and makes me wonder if they really ever had any intention of moving Nash at all. It sounded like every time a team would come close to working something out Columbus would change their minds and try and get even more from the teams they were negotiating with. If that really was the case, then that's a really unfair way to treat Rick Nash, who was left having to answer questions about being traded for the past month. Columbus left their team captain lying in the weeds and I'm sure Nash is more than a little ticked off with how things unfolded for him.

For a list of all the other trades made toady, you can view the 2012 Trade Tracker page over at TSN here.

More to come a little later on when the Rangers face the Devils from Madison Square Garden. I'm sure the media will talk to John Tortorella before the game about the trade activity, or lack thereof, on the Rangers' part. 

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