According to NHL.com writer Dan Rosen, the Pittsburgh Penguins are one of six teams that Rick Nash has added to his approved trade list along with the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers. In a recent article, Rosen handicapped these six potential destinations for the All-Star winger, highlighting what pieces could move in return for Nash.
The Penguins have a few high level prospects that Columbus General Manager Scott Howson could find interesting in a trade for Nash. They include defensemen Simon Despres, recently acquired Brian Dumoulin, and 2012 1st Round Pick Derek Pouliot. I have always been of the opinion that if you can move prospects for NHL proven players (especially one under contract for an extended period of time like Nash), you do it, provided you don't completely deplete your reserves. The question that arises in this instance is, "how much is too much" for Nash? If the situation plays out Rick Nash for the three prospects mentioned above, it creates an interesting scenario; one superstar winger for three high level defensive prospects.
In reality, I believe Columbus will want an NHL-ready piece along with prospects and/or picks for Nash. In order for this scenario to play out in Pittsburgh, it might look something like this: Rick Nash and Derek MacKenzie in exchange for Tyler Kennedy, Simon Depres, Derek Pouliot and a 1st Round Pick in 2013. Ultimately, I don't see this coming to fruition. I'm not sure that Columbus will view Kennedy as the piece they need, and I'm not convinced the Penguins are willing to move the kind of piece needed to get a deal like this done. And in looking over the other teams' assets in the Nash Sweepstakes, it seems more likely that one of the other 5 teams would be able to put a better package together for Columbus' sniper.
But the question remains...If you're Ray Shero, would you pull the trigger for Rick Nash in either of the scenarios outlined above?
Only time will tell how the Rick Nash Sweepstakes will play out, but no matter how it ends up, for the hardcore NHL fan, it's a blast to debate!