Could the Flyers land nash?
By midweek, according to one GM, the Blue Jackets already had at least two solid offers. Based on talks with a handful of GMs last week, it appears Howson is looking for either three or four solid assets in return, including at least one first-round pick.
Contrary to initial reports, a goalie doesn’t have to be part of the deal. However, if there isn’t a goalie – one on par with, say, Boston’s Tuukka Rask or Vancouver’s Cory Schneider – then Howson needs that fourth asset (be it first-round pick or roster player) to make a follow-up deal to bring one in.
The Thornton deal, which had Boston acquiring Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart, and Wayne Primeau, is one benchmark to guide Howson. So is the Chris Pronger deal in July 2006 that had the Ducks sending Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, and a first-round pick to the Oilers for the then-31-year-old back liner.
But there was a conditional sweetener that closed the Pronger deal: When the Ducks won the Cup 11 months later – Pronger proving to be the key piece of the puzzle – they had to fork over another first-round and second-round pick to the Oilers. Total package: five assets.
Given that Nash is 27, a year older than Thornton was in ’05 but four years younger than Pronger when he was dished to Anaheim, Howson is not overreaching.
Nash provided Howson with a list of teams he’d accept in a deal. Boston made the cut, but by all indications Chiarelli won’t surrender such a beefy package. He could pull it off, if he were to surrender Rask and top blue line prospect Dougie Hamilton, but that would sink too much of the franchise’s future into the present-day Nash.
The bet here is that the Flyers, always enthralled by big names (see: Eric Lindros), pull it off – or come the closest – with the likes of James van Riemsdyk and Sean Couturier (No. 8 pick last June) as the key parts. A third asset could be a choice of Sergei Bobrovsky, Brayden Schenn, or Wayne Simmonds. Add in a first-rounder, and perhaps a sweetener if the Flyers win the Cup, and Nash could be seen riding high on a line with Claude Giroux.