NHL Trade Rumors: Rangers Are Frontrunner for Rick Nash

Rob WatersCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2012

Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets' impending trade target Rick Nash rumors are saturating the market. Frankly, it's getting a little old–but impossible to ignore.

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, reporting on behalf of Canada's TSN, believes that Nash will not only become a New York Ranger by the NHL trade deadline (Feb. 27), but that this potential acquisition is the reason the Rangers have not been active on the trade market yet.

LeBrun believes the Rangers have other trade possibilities in the works, and that Rangers general manager Glen Sather is trying to stay the course to determine if Nash does in fact become a Ranger.

Another reason LeBrun feels the Rangers have not acquired Nash yet is simply because the asking price has been remarkably high.

Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News has reported current Rangers Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, and prospects Chris Kreider as possible trade targets for acquiring Nash.

For what it is worth, in the same TSN segment, Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie do not believe the Rangers will acquire Nash by the trade deadline. Dreger believes Nash will join the San Jose Sharks, and McKenzie feels Nash will not leave the Blue Jackets.

One thing is certain: Nash will not come to the Rangers cheap–he has a seven year contract remaining worth over $50 million.

Possible other destinations for Nash such as the Toronto Maple Leafs have been shot down by Leafs' general manager Brian Burke.

And the Los Angeles Kings can be ruled out, according to a live intermission report by McKenzie on NBC Sports Network.

That leaves three strong possibilities: the Sharks, Rangers, or Blue Jackets for Nash.

With only five days remaining until the trade deadline, expect the Nash speculation to heighten.