I think at this point most of the Columbus Blue Jackets' faithful want the Rick Nash saga to be over. The draft offers Columbus GM Scott Howson a window to make the deal, at a time where rival managers like to upgrade their rosters. It has been speculated that the price that Howson is demanding for Nash is two roster players, two top prospects and likely a first round pick.
I decided to take a look at the rosters of the 29 other teams, starting with the Eastern Conference. I know that a vast majority of these teams don't have a Nash trade on their minds whatsoever, but it is interesting to see what they would hypothetically be able to offer.
Below you can find my breakdown of potential returns for Nash. In terms of the roster players, I decided to include a player with a "big contract". This is a player who is making above-average coin, who's contract may need to head back to Columbus to help offset Nash's monster deal. I've also included young roster players, who make up the heart of the deal. I've also included the team's top prospects and where they pick in the first round.
I feel like I should add this disclaimer- I know some of this is far-fetched. I know that most of these teams won't be calling Howson to talk about a Rick Nash trade. This was simply an exercise in roster research, attempting to set a value for Nash. When/if the trade does happen, it will be fun to see how many of the assets I have listed are included. Also, Nash's no-trade clause will have a huge effect on the real-life deal.
We'll do the Eastern Conference first, the West will come later.
Right off the bat, I like the potential packages that Ottawa, Buffalo and Boston could come up with. I didn't list him, but Jhonas Enroth could be another target in a potential deal with the Sabres. Again, would Nash go to Buffalo?
The roster plays available from Philly are tantalizing, but their prospect pool is weak. The Islanders are the exact opposite. Pittsburgh and New Jersey just don't seem to have the required assets, whlie the Rangers remain the team I think Nash will end up with.
Winnipeg and Tampa Bay are in a similar situation as the Pens and Devils, they just don't have the assets. Florida's prospect pool is deep, and they have some exciting young defensemen on the NHL roster the Jackets would love to have, not to mention Markstrom, but I think they want forwards in return. Carolina is a surprise team in the rumor mill, but do they have what it takes to make a deal happen? They do if they want to give up Jeff Skinner or Justin Faulk. Washington actually looks like a fit- Laich's contract sucks, but he would look great opposite of Umby. Marcus Johansson and their Russian prospects would be sweeteners, and they also have a pair of first rounders.
Again, this was mostly for fun. Let's see which of the packages I have come up with you like the best, or if you would change any of them. Stay tuned for the Western Conference.