March 26, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Rick Nash (61) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit won 7-2 clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Don't Count Flyers Out Of Nash Sweepstakes Just Yet

While the Rick Nash saga has certainly gone quiet in the last few weeks, Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson remains firm in his high asking price for the former first round pick.

While initially it was believed Howson would want a combination of defenseman and forwards for Nash, he’s been more vocal in the past few weeks on what he wants.

According to a report on NHL.com, Scott Howson is looking for established forwards who can immidiately jump in and fill the void left by Nash.

If you have been following the Rick Nash saga at all, you would know by now that the New York Rangers are believed to be the “front runners” for Rick’s services. The Bruins, Flyers, Penguins, Sharks, and Red Wings are all in the mix as well, as they are all believed to be on Rick Nash’s list of “approved” teams he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to.

While New York certainly has the assets to acquire Rick Nash, that doesn’t mean they’d be willing to part with the pieces to bring him aboard. Names like Derek Stepan and Chris Krieder have come up in trade discussions for Nash, while it’s been reported that Columbus is more interested in guys like Tim Erixon and Ryan McDonagh. The Rangers appear hesitant to move McDonagh and Kreider, they could consider moving other pieces, such as Brandon Dubinsky.

If it’s forwards Scott Howson is looking for, he should look no further than Philadelphia. The Flyers have more offensive depth than the Rangers, and may have some leverage in trade talks with the Blue Jackets because of that. Trading one or two forwards and a pick to acquire Rick Nash would not set the Flyers back very much, and it gives the Flyers the power forward they were looking for when they drafted James van Riemsdyk.

With the loss of Matt Carle to Tampa Bay, the Flyers can ill-afford trading another defenseman, and they wouldn’t have to if Howson just wants forwards in return.

The only problem with a potential trade to Philadelphia is that Columbus would likely command Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier in any deal for Nash, something that the Flyers simply won’t do at this point. That makes guys like Matt Read, Jake Voracek, and Eric Wellwood would be the more “expendable” players in a potential trade.

Nothing appears imminent at this time, but once we see a conclusion to the Doan and Semin sagas, the trade market will heat up and guys like Nash, Ryan, and Yandle will once again be the center of all the rumor speculation.

 

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Tags: Alexander Semin Bobby Ryan Boston Bruins Brandon Dubinsky Chris Krieder Derek Stepan Detroit Red Wings Eric Wellwood Jake Voracek James Van Riemsdyk Matt Read New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Rick Nash Ryan McDonagh San Jose Sharks Shane Doan Tim Erixon

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