Trade deadline: Nash
Teams that I believe have either been contacted by Columbus regarding Rick Nash or have reached out to the Blue Jackets: the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Los Angeles Kings, the Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Of that list, I think the Rangers, Flyers and Kings really stand out in terms of their interest and ability to provide the right assets. The Canucks and Leafs obviously have interest, but I’m not sure they’re willing to part with the kind of package of assets the Jackets are looking for.
The Leafs have worked hard over the last few years to build up their base of assets and don’t want to empty the cupboard on one player, even though it’s a player they like. My sense is that Toronto will remain involved on some level just to make sure the price doesn’t go down.
Wild-card teams: San Jose and St. Louis. I’m not sure the Sharks can pull this off midseason; I think they’d be more interested in the offseason. The Blues have ownership issues, which I think really limits their ability here, yet one source suggested to us that we should not discount them. Still, trade Nash within your division? That would surprise me.
Jackets GM Scott Howson has told some teams, a source told ESPN.com, that while he is listening to offers on Nash, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll move the superstar winger by the Feb. 27 trade deadline. There’s still a chance this gets moved to an offseason transaction. Still, given that the cat is now out of the bag, you know Howson will work his hardest to make it happen in the next two weeks.