It's a pre-deadline Mailbag, otherwise known as the "Let's Spin the Roulette Wheel and Guess Where Rick Nash is Going Mailbag." Really, is there any other suspense left this year?
Let's just hope, for the sake of the dozens of outlets that depend on the deadline for a boost in their audiences, that Nash isn't dealt by the Columbus Blue Jackets before Monday. If so, the men in Windsor-knotted ties will be left to debate questions such as "Calgary Flames with a fourth-round choice in 2013 for XYZ fourth-liner. Who won?"
The paradox of the trade deadline is: it's never been bigger in the media, but it used to be a lot more exciting. When there was no salary cap, it was akin to someone just taking a million dollars in small bills and tossing it in the air, then watching people scratch and claw each other for the bounty. The poor, out-of-contention teams would just hold open auctions for the rich clubs. It was the hockey version of Sotheby's.
All those great old trade deadlines built things up to the point that the media made it, as SI colleague Michael Farber
That leaves Nash as the last big chip for Columbus to play, but lots of questions as to where he will end up -- if anywhere.
I've gotten a ton of "Where is Rick Nash going?" questions in my in-box during the last couple of weeks, but can only choose one to answer, so let's give this one the honors:
I can go both ways on this, John, which is why I can always claim to be right later on. It's a gift. So if I'm arguing for the "Trade Nash" camp, I say something like: the guy has never made anyone else around him better. He's never very good defensively. He's a one-dimensional player. Isn't making others around you what separates the great players from just the talented ones?
If I'm arguing against, I say: Are you crazy? Nash has been the only big gun that team has had during the last 10 years! Scoring 40 goals for it was like scoring 80 on a good one. Trade him, and this is "Ron Francis from Hartford to Pittsburgh, Part Deux (or, Duh)."
I don't know, I'm torn. I'm not sure which side I feel more passionate about. Nash does have rare talent, but he's been in Columbus quite a while now and the Jackets have ZERO playoff wins in all that time. You can definitely make the case that it's time to move on, for both sides.
And yet, giving up a guy like him is RISKY.
Martin, first off, I am ALWAYS happy to help another American college student goof off during classes that you and your parents are paying thousands of dollars to attend. It's another of my gifts.
You know what the most amazing part of this deadline has been? That we haven't heard a word about Parise being shopped anywhere. The guy can become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He may very well leave New Jersey for nothing. And yet, it has somehow been assumed that Parise is off-limits to every other team.
We'll take the reports out of New Jersey -- that Parise won't be traded -- at their word. But, boy, it's a real risk letting a guy like him get one day closer to free agency with every passing moon. You just can't let a guy like him go for nothing. I can tell you this: if the Devils can't come to an agreement with Parise by July 1, a whole heck of a lot of teams will be lining up at his door ready to throw lots of money at him. You can start with a certain team from Michigan that wears a Winged Wheel on its chest.
If Parise is available July 1, I will bet right now that he's a Red Wing soon after.
Love ya, Blueshirt fans, but I still can't put them at No. 1 in the rankings. They were there for a week, but I hated myself for doing it. I need to see more scoring from them. And it just so happens that a guy from Columbus is available who might help make goals easier to come by.
Getting shut out in Pittsburgh, 2-0, over the weekend was just one game, and I'm worshipping in the pews of the Tortorella Cathedral as much as anyone, due to the job he's done with that team this season. I think he's a great coach and I love his attitude. It is my dream in life to be told off just once by him during a press conference.
But that game sort of reinforced to me what I feel is the Rangers' problem going forward: not quite enough juice up front offensively, too reliant on Henrik Lundqvist overall. And Brad Richards makes me a little nervous. He's got 40 points through his first 58 games. Respectable enough numbers, but not quite what you'd expect from a two-time 91-point guy who got another huge contract last summer. He needs one more big forward to play with. Did I mention that Rick Nash is still available?
I remember the rats very well, David. I got hit by several at the old Miami Arena while covering the '96 Cup final for
First off, you of course read
Bottom line, David: you gotta win to get the pub. But the good news for you and other Panthers fans: they still had FOUR games in hand over Winnipeg entering Friday.
Pekka Rinne is, if not a beast, a very good goalie, Nate. Agreed. If I'm a Preds fan, I'm feeling real good about my top three defense of Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and the newly acquired Hal Gill -- all backed up by Rinne.
But if I'm a Preds fan, I'm also still worried that I don't have enough offense. The Preds have to work really hard for goals. They're sort of the Rangers of the West. I really like this team overall, but the same kinds of issues from previous years seem to be there as the playoffs loom.
Nashville is one of those teams where you're always saying, "If they only had an offense to match the defense..." That said, you don't need to score six goals a night in the playoffs to win. This team can do it -- but it does need to get more help at the offensive end.
Keep those letters coming....