A year ago today, the Rangers looked like they pulled off a huge coup as they were able to obtain Rick Nash from Columbus in exchange for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Time Erixon and this year's first round pick.
365 days later, Aaron Portzline at the Columbus Dispatch says the trade wasn't as lopsided as people anticipated.
Here's Columbus head coach Todd Richards on how the trade helped his team almost crack the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history last season…
“I’ve seen it before, where you have your superstar — and Rick is a superstar — and everybody defaults to him, you’re waiting for him to do something or say something,” Richards said. “When he’s gone, it falls on other guys to step up. Now they have to, whereas before they (might) have sat back and watched just out of respect."
…this, I felt, was a big problem with the Rangers last season. While two years ago, you felt it was a new hero every night, with Nash on board, if he wasn't scoring the entire team wasn't scoring. The rest of the Rangers team needs to realize that even with Nash in the line-up they still need to make things happen. This is a common problem with teams employing super star players.
Portzline I felt then took a couple of shots at Nash, saying this…
"…the trade had a transformative effect on the Blue Jackets, both on the ice and in the room. Dubinsky and Anisimov helped set the tone for what became a much faster, hard-working team.
…Richards said the loss of Nash gave room for others to grow. Anisimov and Dubinsky, much like Jack Johnson months earlier, arrived in Columbus with tremendous attitudes.
While others wanted off the bus, the pair wanted to sit in the driver’s seat and make the Blue Jackets a winner. Dubinsky has been mentioned by Richards as a potential captain."
…wow. It seems to me that Portzline is insinuating that Nash was a bit of a problem in the locker room and not a hard working player.
…while I can't speak to the Rangers locker room dynamic last season, I for the most part felt Nash worked hard every night.
…sounds like sour grapes from Portzline to me, but it is interesting to note.
Here's Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record on the how the trade had a negative effect on the Rangers depth…
“(Former coach John Tortorella) always talked throughout the year — whining, really — about the lack of depth on the roster, and he didn’t hide the fact that it was the Nash trade, to a large extent.”
…as far as my thoughts on the team a year later. Yes, I felt the trade hurt the Rangers depth wise, but it's not like Dubinsky and Anisimov aren't replaceable. Sather just didn't replace them initially. Obviously, the Gaborik trade took care of that. So, despite Nash's struggles in the playoffs, I still feel it was a great trade for the Rangers and a move I would make every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Here's a reminder why…