Pending unrestricted free agent Rick Nash has been asked to submit a list of 18 teams he would not like to be dealt to, which essentially suggests the New York Rangers are looking to move their forward with the NHL trade deadline approaching.
This is the first formal step as per the terms of Nash’s contract, but that doesn’t mean the 33-year-old is happy about it.
With a dozen teams that he can be traded to unless he waives the no-trade clause in his deal, the door is open for movement.
“It’s disappointing. It sucks,” Nash saidsaid on Monday. “I love being a Ranger, love being in New York. It’s just the things that happen when your team doesn’t win and they have to make business decisions. It’s really disappointing.”
Nash is in the final year of an eight-year contract worth $62.4 million. He signed the deal as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the modified no-trade clause was put in place.
The Rangers have taken a dive as of late and have lost eight of their last 11 games, which puts them in a tricky position with respect to the post-season. Rumours and reports have suggested that New York general manager Jeff Gorton is prepared to trade a few unrestricted free agents and this news regarding Nash seems to corroborate at least part of those stories.
Nash has 25 points in 52 games this season, including 15 goals. This is his sixth season with the Rangers since he was acquired from Columbus in July of 2012. In 367 games with New York, he has 249 points.
“I have no idea how I’m going to explain to my son that he can’t cheer for the Rangers,” Nash said. “That definitely went through my head. Every time he sees a goal he starts singing the song. It’s tough, but it’s reality. It’s the business side of it and when you go through certain things of where you could end up you think about your family and your kids and the best situation to win. It’s tough.”
As of press time, the Rangers sit last in the Metropolitan Division with 55 points. That’s two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Among the team’s UFAs, Nash joins a list that includes Michael Grabner, David Desharnais, Nick Holden, and goalie Ondrej Pavelec.