Seemingly out of nowhere, Rick Nash is now on the trading block.
The face of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the superstar, the captain, the franchise. Now he’s up for grabs, but it’ll be a steep price. A price the Dallas Stars should not pay. A price no one expects the Stars to pay. A price they will not pay.
When a player of that caliber is available, it makes sense that every team would covet such talent, and each and every fan covets that kind of talent too. So of course the speculation builds, and people start to believe that Rick Nash is the answer to all of the Stars’ problems. Sure, a guy like Rick Nash would be a monumental addition to the Dallas Stars, but quite simply, it’s not going to happen. Why? Because Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson wants a lot in return. The rumors are that the price includes a first round draft pick, NHL-ready prospects, and even a young roster player or two. Sit back and think about that, what would that translate to for the Stars? Our best players down in Austin, like Matt Fraser, Scott Glennie, or Brenden Dillon? Then consider that the Jackets want roster players as well. Do the Stars really have the luxury of getting rid of even one core player on that NHL roster? No.
That core consists of player like Jamie Benn, Alex Goligoski, Loui Eriksson, and Kari Lehtonen as the man in net. If you think any of those players are expendable you’re kidding yourself. Rick Nash will turn 28 years old this year. He is starting to creep into his prime, and playing on a team like the Stars, who are still a few years from being a true contender, does not make any sense for him. Rick Nash is running the show, he decides where he goes, and when teams like the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, or the Boston Bruins are calling, why would he choose Dallas? Those teams are legitimate contenders, within striking distance of the Stanley Cup. Rick Nash wants to win championships, not start over, and who can blame him? He’s been stuck in a hopeless situation in Columbus. He’s only played four playoff games in his entire career.
Anyone who’s followed the Stars knows that Joe Nieuwendyk believes in building this team through the farm, the draft, and the right free agency acquisitions, and if you read the recent Q&A with Owner Tom Gaglardi, you’ll know that he echoes that sentiment. Jamie Benn is a budding superstar, Loui Eriksson is the kind of player that can be depended on for 25-35 goals every year and more on the ice, and Alex Goligoski is quickly cementing himself as this team’s top offensive defenseman. These players, and many others, are crucial to the Stars’ future. This team is not the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Los Angeles Kings, or the Boston Bruins. The Stars are not a deep enough team to be able to afford sending the type of players that Scott Howson will be demanding in exchange for Rick Nash. It is as simple as that.
Rick Nash is a nice dream for Stars fans, but he’s just that, a dream. This team needs to focus on the future, building and improving the team through the right trades, draft picks, and prospect development. If you’ve been following the media frenzy, you’ll notice that no one has mentioned the Stars anywhere in the mix, and that’s how it should be. The Stars can’t blow up the team for one guy. Joe Nieuwendyk is working hard to build something special here in Dallas, and we will all have to be a little more patient with the plan for success to be a common fixture for the Dallas Stars again.