Good post over on The 6th Sens about Murray kicking the tires on a Rick Nash trade. But with due respect to the boys’ analysis, of which the main points are sound—Nash’s peak production is likely behind him, he has a high salary, and the trade price is high—I wonder if we have a tendency to overvalue our prospects at this point.
After all, even if Nash “only” scores you 25-30 goals for the next few years and never breaks that 70 point barrier again, that’s a proven commodity on a team that needs it. Ottawa’s prospects on the other hand tend to be viewed in the context of their ceiling and under the assumption that they will come somewhere near it.
So even if the price is Mika Zibanejad, Mark Stone, a first round pick and a roster player, I have to ask: so what? Zibanejad has the makings of a very good two-way forward, but no one is suggesting he’ll have the game-breaking abilities of Nash. There are plenty of questions after a couple of concussions, and a season playing on the third line on the now-relegated Djurgårdens IF. There’s a lot of hope there, but he’s far from a sure thing.
Stone may never be an NHL player, lacking the pedigree and some say the skating skills. He looked good in game five against the Rangers (good enough to make his replacement with the jet-lagged Jakob Silfverberg questionable), and has had two monster seasons in the WHL, but he seems like an all-or-nothing prospect at this point. The types of goals he’s scoring in the World Juniors don’t seem as possible when defended against by, say, Chris Pronger. I hope I’m wrong, but again, not a sure thing.
The first round pick is a mid-rounder that I’m sure Columbus will completely fuck up. That’s a lottery ticket.
…and a roster player, which I suppose depends on who it is, but assuming it’s one of Ottawa’s many, many third liners – Nick Foligno, say – again, I don’t think you’re losing an impact player.
So that’s just a boatload of potential and Nick Foligno for Rick Nash, to play on a team that may be losing Daniel Alfredsson (and if they aren’t, will feature a 40-year-old Daniel Alfredsson). This is not even close to the rumored Dubinsky or Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto / Chris Kreider / 1st round pick package that Columbus was angling for from New York.
It’s not a no-brainer, I admit. This deal, like any high profile one, would have its years when it makes Ottawa look stupid and years when it doesn’t. The Heatley trade looked awful for a couple of seasons and now is paying dividends. Additionally, Nash may not be interested in waiving his no trade clause to play on a different rebuilding club. And the catalyst for this reaction is a Bruce Garrioch article written in late-May, which is to say groundless.
But there’s probably something to be said for not overvaluing our prospect system too much, or not cashing in these prospects at a time when seemingly everyone thinks of them as sure bets.