NY Rangers Trade Rumors: Sather Could Trade Dubinsky, Thomas, McIlrath for Nash

Rob Waters@NYRangersZoneCorrespondent IFebruary 23, 2012

Brandon Dubinsky has remained a primary target for trade talks.
Brandon Dubinsky has remained a primary target for trade talks.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Could Brandon Dubinsky be at the end of his days as a New York Ranger?

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather is not willing to trade Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, 2009 first-rounder Chris Kreider and 2011 first-rounder J.T. Miller.

Sather also is not willing to part with Tim Erixon, who currently plays for the Rangers' AHL affiliate, Connecticut Whale.

But Sather is willing to trade Dubinsky, Christian Thomas, 2010 first-rounder Dylan McIlrath, plus a first-round pick to acquire Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Rangers next two games against the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres could be a breaking point in determining how desperate Sather becomes to acquire Nash.

Brooks reports that Sather is "not fazed" by Nash's $7.8 million cap hit per year that extends through 2017-2018.

Trading Dubinsky would clear $4.2 million in cap space annually for the Rangers.

Dubinsky, a fan favorite of the Rangers, has not lived up to expectations after signing his big contract over the past summer.

Dubinsky has six goals so far this season, a far cry from his 24 of last season.

But does his lack of offensive contributions deem him worthy of a trade? 

That is the big question for Sather, who has made his offer clear to the Blue Jackets' general manager Scott Howson. Howson has stated that his demands for trading Nash are non-negotiable.

The combination of Dubinsky, Thomas, McIlrath and a first-round pick may not be enough to appease Howson.

With two shutout losses in the past 10 games, the Rangers may not have a choice but to start looking elsewhere for offensive talent. 

The question is, at what cost?

We'll find out soon enough. 

ProHockeyTalk just posted an article saying the Blue Jacket's press conference room is preparing for a trade announcement, and "plenty of bags are packed."

If Sather ends up passing on Nash, the Rangers could pursue Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers.