NHL Trade Rumors: Rick Nash Trade in the Works for Pens After Michalek Trade?

Robert TheodorsonSenior Analyst IJune 23, 2012

As reported by TSN, Zbynek Michalek is back in Phoenix.

All the Coyotes had to give up for the defenseman was a third-round pick, and two lower to mid-level prospects in Marc Cheverie and Harrison Ruopp.

The 29-year-old defenseman was a big part of what turned the Coyotes from a perennial cellar-dweller to a legitimate, annual playoff contender. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins can now scratch four million dollars off their books with the Michalek move.

Next on the block? Former New Jersey Devil, Paul Martin.

After the Penguins addressed their defensive needs through yesterday's first round of the draft, Paul Martin is most assuredly on the trading block.

With a no-movement clause and a limited no-trade clause, Martin might be a hard sell for the Penguins after an abysmal 2011-12 season.

Pittsburgh's first-round loss to the Philadelphia Flyers hurt the trade value of every single Penguins defenseman, maybe none more than Martin.

However, one team that is in the midst of rebuilding their defense is the Columbus Blue Jackets.

After spending big money on James Wisniewski, trading for Jack Johnson and drafting top defensive prospect Ryan Murray, the Blue Jackets might be willing to give Martin a chance for a bounce-back year, rounding out a very decent top-four defense. 

If the Penguins would somehow be able to package Paul Martin with a group of future draft picks, prospects or perhaps an additional roster player, Pittsburgh would have more than enough money to take on Rick Nash's $7.8 million cap hit.

With Evgeni Malkin and James Neal forming great chemistry that resulted in a Hart Trophy for Malkin and nominations to the NHL's All-Star team for the pair, that leaves Sidney Crosby without a high scoring winger.

Reuniting Crosby and Nash, who were teammates at the 2010 Winter Olympics, might be just what the doctor ordered if the Penguins want to win another Stanley Cup. 

Related

    According to projections, Penguins can re-sign free agents without breaking the bank

    Pittsburgh Penguins logo
    Pittsburgh Penguins

    According to projections, Penguins can re-sign free agents without breaking the bank

    Jonathan Bombulie
    via TribLIVE.com

    Lamoriello Faces Lengthy To-Do List

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Lamoriello Faces Lengthy To-Do List

    NHL.com
    via NHL.com

    Report: Rangers Hire Quinn as New Head Coach

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Report: Rangers Hire Quinn as New Head Coach

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    Canadiens Re-Sign Antti Niemi

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Canadiens Re-Sign Antti Niemi

    Pro Hockey Rumors
    via Pro Hockey Rumors