A Tale Of Two Nashs

This year in both the NHL and NBA, Phoenix Suns’ point guard Steve Nash and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash are involved in major trade talks.

Steve Nash has been with the Phoenix Suns since 2004 and has given them all he has to offer, winning two MVP awards and leading them to several playoff appearances. Nash is now 38 and closing in at the end of his career. There is one thing Nash is missing though and that is an NBA championship. The Suns are not in the hunt for even a playoff spot let alone a contender for the championship. So what many people including me think they should do is trade him. The Suns need young players to rebuild their franchise. Steve Nash has done everything he possibly could for them, so why not give him the chance to end his career on a high note. Now there is a problem for getting a deal done, there aren’t a lot of teams who are willing to give up young players or picks for a 38 year old point guard. With that being said there are three teams that I can think of that could use Nash and possibly make a trade for him.

1) The Los Angeles Lakers, The Lakers need a point guard, badly! Without a point guard the Lakers have a slim chance of winning the NBA championship. However, with Steve Nash they have a solid chance of if not winning the championship at least making it there. The Lakers are a team who wants to win and would likely be willing to give up a draft pick  for a future Hall of Famer. Also after seeing them willing to give up Gasol for CP3 they may be willing to give him up for Nash. Nash would also be more willing to play for two or three more years.

2) The Indiana Pacers, the Pacers made the playoffs last year and should make it again this year. The Pacers have some decent point guards, including Darren Collison. However, they don’t have a true leader or man to run the court. Steve Nash is that. The Pacers could give up a second round pick, a future pick and one of those point guards.

3) THE BOSTON CELTICS! I have not heard this team named yet and I’m very surprised to say the least. The Celtics have had continuous problems with Rondo. Nash would give the Celtics the consistency that they so desperately need. The Celtics also are the type of team that I could see giving up draft picks for an old player. With Nash, the aging Celtics could make a legitimate run for the NBA championship.


Now for Mr Rick Nash, Rick Nash is latest man to be put on the trading block. He is also the biggest name out of all of them, and the most enticing. A lot of teams are interested in Nash. One team that could trade for Nash is my hometown Leafs, the leafs could make a deal for Nash getting rid of Nazem Kadri and other loose ends or draft picks. The Leafs have the GM to do so as well. Brian Burke has been able to muster up plenty of trades this would be one I’d like to see. Other teams Included could be the struggling Habs, The Penguins, pending a trade for Staal amongst other players and picks. We brought in one of our hockey experts, Vernon Smells, for his take.

Rick Nash was asked to make a list of just 5 teams, so it has to be a team he’s willing to go to. So as McFultz said, Toronto is a possibility, with Nash being a Brampton boy and all, I’m sure he’d love playing in front of all his friends and family, but will this deal get done? I doubt it, mostly because the asking price for Nash is huge, they would probably have to trade away multiple prospects and probably a 1st rounder to get him, and they aren’t willing to bring on that much of a cap hit when they already have 2 first line wingers. They’re still in desperate need of a center. As for Pittsburgh, I don’t think they have the cap space or the assets to pull this deal off. Montreal is an interesting choice, I can’t see him going there, as that Hal Gill trade sort of proclaimed that they were sellers, but they swear they’re not. They could probably muster up the assets(P.K Subban, Pacioretty, some prospects and maybe some draft picks) but they don’t have the cap. I also don’t see why a team out of the playoff picture would trade away their future for 1 player, or why Nash would want to play in Montreal, but it’s possible. Here’s my list of the 3 most likely teams Nash will be dealt to before the deadline.:

1) Los Angeles Kings. The L.A Kings have been looking for a star winger for a while now, they tried and failed with Kovalchuck, and now that Nash is available, they’re going to be trying harder than ever to acquire him. The most interesting part of this story is that they have the assets, the most likely trade is Nash for Bernier+Johnson+picks and/or prospects. As long as they move Bernier and Johnson, they’ll also have the cap space to get this deal done. The other side of this story is that the Jackets also want to move Carter, and the Kings may be one of the few teams interested, so maybe move Carter to the Kings and Nash elsewhere, but for the Kings, an organization in dire need of a cup, they will try their best to get Nash.

2) New York Rangers. The Rangers have shown great interest in Nash, and to be honest I’m really not sure why, they already have a high-scoring winger(Gaborik), and they’re second overall in the the NHL and a Stanley Cup contender, why mess with that chemistry? They do have the assets to get this deal done, but they’d have to give up Dubinsky, Del Zotto, Hagelin maybe, along with multiple other prospects and picks. I understand that he has nobody good playing with him, and he’s had much better years, but  essentially your giving up that much for a 27 year old on pace for 55 points and a -33 on the season. However, they do have high interest and are a front-runner to land him.

3) Philadelphia Flyers. The Blue Jackets and Flyers have been in major talks over the last week, Blue Jackets GM, Scott Howson, is reportedly trying to orchestrate a deal with Sean Couturier and/or Brayden Schenn, however, Paul Holmgren, the Flyers GM, is reluctant to give them up. There may also be a deal in the works including Bobrovsky, Van Riemsdyk and a draft pick. However, The Flyers are still more interested in acquiring another Defenceman, with the absence of Chris Pronger.

To me, the most likely scenario is that he doesn’t get dealt until the off-season. There will be more teams interested, such as The Red Wings, The Bruins and The Sharks, and more teams means higher return.

-McFultz & Vernon Smells

NHL Monthly Power Rankings Jan. 20th, 2012

Vernon Smells here, to all of you regular readers, which is now at a record breaking 0, you’ll find out very quickly that I am the Power Rankings guy, I will do monthly Power Rankings for the NHL, the NFL, and the MLB. So here are my power rankings for the NHL season to this point. Stay tuned for next months edition.             

1. Boston Bruins,  30-13-1 61 Points.                                                                                 Not including October, Boston is 27-6-1, and as the defending Champs they are by far the best team in the league.                                                                                                    Past Week:  2-2-0                                                                                                              Last 10: 6-4-0                                                                                                                    Tyler Seguin: 17G 23A +35                                                                                                 Tim Thomas: .906 SV% 2.02 GAA

2. New  York Rangers, 29-12-4 62 Points. The New York Rangers have been a great surprise this  season, they find themselves on top of the East after heating up in December, and then never cooling back down.                                                                Past Week: 2-2-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 7-3-0                                                                                                                 Marian Gaborik: 23G 14A +11                                                                                         Henrik Lundqvist: .936 SV% 1.93 GAA

3. St. Louis Blues, 28-12-6 62 Points. What a great story the Blues have been. Their goalies have led them  all the way up to third in our power rankings, with a 1.94 team GA/G and they have let only 1197 shots get to their keepers (both stats  lead the league respectively), this goalie/defense combination can win.                                                   Past Week: 3-0-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 7-1-2                                                                                                                    Brian Elliott: .937 SV% 1.68 GAA                                                                                 Jaraslov Halak: .920 SV% 2.00 GAA                                                                                David Backes: 14G 19A +13

4. Detroit Red Wings, 31-15-1 63 Points. They now sit on top of the NHL, and are riding a 5 game winning streak, the only reason they aren’t higher on this list is because 3 of those games were in a Shootout and 1 was in Overtime.                                                          Past Week:4-0-0                                                                                                                Last 10: 8-2-0                                                                                                                   Pavel Datsyuk: 13G 38A +21                                                                                         Jimmy Howard: .926 SV% 1.98 GAA

5. Chicago Blackhawks, 28-13-6 62 Points. The Blackhawks have been good all season long. With 3 of the top 5 teams from the Central Division, it looks like a couple of teams may get screwed in the playoffs seedings, they have to assure they aren’t one of them. easiest way to do that is to win your divisional games.                                                     Past Week: 2-0-1                                                                                                               Last 10:  5-3-2                                                                                                                Marian Hossa: 18G 31A +23                                                                                      Jonathan Toews: 26G 22A +16                                                                                     Patrick Sharp: 20G 20A +18

6. Ottawa Senators, 27-16-6 60 Points. The Sens are the hottest team in the NHL and deserve this spot, however, I still don’t think they will end in this spot, or even the playoffs……..                                                                                                                       Past Week: 3-1-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 8-1-1                                                                                                                  Jason Spezza: 20G 30A 50P                                                                                              Erik Karlsson: 7G 38A +8

7.Vancouver Canucks, 28-15-4 60 Points. The defending Presidents’ Trophy winners may have liked a few more W’s at  this point in the season, but I’m sure they will happily take the second seed in the Western Conference.                                                                  Past Week: 0-1-1                                                                                                               Last 10: 5-3-2                                                                                                                  Daniel Sedin: 20G 30A +14                                                                                             Henrik Sedin: 11G 41A +13

8. Nashville Predators, 27-16-4 58 Points. That’s now 4 Central Division teams in the top 10, it’s clear everyone in the division is taking advantage of playing the Blue Jackets 6 times.                                                                                                                                 Past Week:3-1-0                                                                                                                Last 10: 8-2-0                                                                                                                    Shea Weber: 10G 23A +13

9. San Jose Sharks, 26-13-5 57 Points. San Jose has gone back to playing great regular season hockey after a small hiatus. I don’t know though, maybe a sub-par regular season would have finally given them success in the postseason.                                              Past Week: 2-2-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 7-2-1                                                                                                                      Joe Thornton: 8G 28A +13                                                                                             Patrick Marleau: 17G 19A +10

10. Philadelphia Flyers, 27-14-4 58 Points. Philly has had a small but noticeable drop-off after a great first 2 and a half months. Maybe the team’s finally gotten  too creeped out by Danny Briere.                                                                                                                     Past Week:1-0-2                                                                                                                Last 10:6-4-0                                                                                                                  Claude Giroux: 18G 32A 50P

11. Pittsburgh Penguins, 25-17-4 54 Points. The Penguins have come back after a tough six game losing streak and have now won 4 straight. They also have a +22 goal differential(3rd in the East)                                                                                                 Past Week:4-0-0                                                                                                                Last 10: 4-6-0                                                                                                                 Evgeni Malkin: 24G 30A +9

12. New Jersey Devils, 26-18-2 54 Points . Just like last year, the Devils are getting hot mid-season, except this time, they are still in the playoff race.                                         Past Week: 2-1-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 6-3-1                                                                                                                   Patrik Elias: 17G 28A 45P

13. Los Angeles Kings, 23-15-10 56 Points. Ever since Darryl Sutter took over Head coaching duties in L.A, they’ve really turned their season around, but to really succeed, L.A needs to play better in OT/SO, as they lead the league in O.T GP, but they’re only 7-10 in the extra frame.                                                                                                                  Past Week: 2-0-2                                                                                                               Last 10: 5-1-4                                                                                                                    Anze Kopitar: 14G 29A 43P                                                                                        Jonathan Quick: .934 SV% 1.92 GAA

14. Washington Capitals 25-18-2 52 Points  The Caps deserve to be higher on this list with the way they’ve been playing  as of late, unfortunately, so does everyone ahead of them.                                                                                                                                  Past Week:3-1-0                                                                                                                Last 10: 7-3-0                                                                                                                Nicklas Backstrom: 13G 29A 42P

15. Colorado Avalanche, 25-21-2 52 Points. The Avs are on a roll and currently hold the final playoff spot in the West, but they’re going to need to find a new way to win, because even though a 7-0 record in shootouts may look nice, it won’t help come playoffs.         Past Week: 2-1-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 6-3-1                                                                                                                    Ryan O’Reilly: 13G 22A 35P                                                                                            Jean-Sebastien Giguere: .923 SV% 2.12 GAA

16. Toronto Maple Leafs, 23-18-5 51 Points. The Buds have had an up-and-down  season, but with their league worst penalty kill yet to give up a goal in January and the greatly improved play of goalie Jonas Gustavsson (5-2-0 in Jan.) I expect good things.             Past Week: 1-3-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 5-4-1                                                                                                                 Joffrey Lupul: 20G 31A +5                                                                                                   Phil Kessel: 25G 25A 50P

17. Florida Panthers   21-14-10 52 Points. It’s finally happened, with the play of     Versteeg, Weiss, Fleischmann and Theodore finally coming back down to Earth, it seems as if the Cinderella run by the Panthers may be over, and they could fail to reach the playoffs for  an NHL record 11th straight season, but for now they are still barely holding on to that final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.                                                          Past Week: 0-1-2                                                                                                               Last 10: 3-4-3                                                                                                                      Kris Versteeg: 17G 22A +9                                                                                          Stephen Weiss: 12G 23A +11                                                                                       Tomas Fleischmann: 15G 19A 34P                                                                                  Jose Theodore: .918 SV% 2.48 GAA

18. Calgary Flames, 22-20-6 50 Points. The Flames have been a middle of the pack team all season long, we’ll see if the addition of Cammalleri can boost them up a couple of spots.                                                                                                                                 Past Week: 1-1-1                                                                                                               Last 10: 4-4-2                                                                                                                Jarome Iginla: 18G 20A 38P

19. Dallas Stars, 24-19-2 50 Points. After a great start to the year, Dallas has really declined. At this point the  best you can call them is sub-par, and with the 4th oldest team league, I don’t see it getting better anytime soon.                                                             Past Week: 0-1-2                                                                                                               Last 10: 4-5-1                                                                                                                  Jamie Benn: 13G 29A +10                                                                                                 Loui Eriksson: 17G 24A +11

20. Phoenix Coyotes, 21-19-8 50 Points. With the yotes’ pretty much relying on Mike Smith all year long, they  really stumbled when he got injured, and he’s still trying to find his game now that he’s back and the team continues to struggle, despite the fact that Vrbata and Whitney are quietly having great seasons.                                                                        Past Week: 1-2-1                                                                                                               Last 10: 3-3-4                                                                                                                      Ray Whitney: 14G 25A +11                                                                                            Radim Vrbata: 22G 16A +8                                                                                                Mike Smith: .918 SV% 2.41 GAA

21. Winnipeg Jets 22-20-5 49 Points. The Jets coming back was the story of 2011, but no one expected anything from them, but for a brief period in December they held a playoff spot, since, they’ve stumbled down to 10th in the East. Now to make the fans in Winterpeg happy, they’re gonna have to improve.                                                                              Past Week: 2-2-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 4-6-0                                                                                                                   Blake Wheeler: 9G 24A +9                                                                                          Evander Kane: 18G 13A 31P                                                                                         Ondrej Pavelec: .910 SV% 2.83 GAA

22. Minnesota Wild, 22-18-7 51 Points. Wow, what a turn around, they were first for a little while, but after the injury-riddled Wild dropped their 11th consecutive road game last night, they proved that they are definitely not a top team in the NHL.                                         Past Week:0-2-0                                                                                                                Last 10: 2-6-2                                                                                                                  Niklas Backstrom: .921 SV% 2.45 GAA                                                                            Josh Harding: .925 SV% 2.44 GAA

23. New York Islanders, 18-21-6 42 Points. The Isles, in what is a disappointing but expected season are actually on a pretty good roll right now and have had 5 players putting up really good numbers: Tavares, Moulson, Parenteau, Nabokov and Montoya.             Past Week:: 3-1-0                                                                                                              Last 10: 6-4-0                                                                                                                    John Tavares: 17G 29A 46P                                                                                              Matt Moulson: 22G 21A +10

24. Anaheim Ducks, 16-22-7 29 Points. The Ducks have now won 3 in a row and six of their last 7, losing just once to Calgary in O.T, but with the assets they have, this should have happened a long time ago, too little, too late                                                             Past Week: 3-0-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 6-3-1                                                                                                                 Teemu Selanne: 15G 29A +6                                                                                          Corey Perry: 21G 17A 38P

25. Montreal Canadiens, 17-21-8 42 Points. The Habs are in the middle of an awful season, and the biggest controversy is that the coach doesn’t speak French, priorities Habs fans, priorities.                                                                                                          Past Week: 1-1-1                                                                                                               Last 10: 4-5-1                                                                                                                      Erik Cole: 17G 16A +4                                                                                                     Carey Price: .912 SV% 2.45 GAA

26. Carolina Hurricanes 16-24-8 40 Points. Cam Ward and the Canes have had an absolutely disastrous season. Not much else to say.                                                       Past Week: 1-1-1                                                                                                               Last 10: 4-4-2                                                                                                                      Eric Staal: 11G 23A 34P

27. Buffalo Sabres, 19-23-5 43 Points. The Sabres have now lost 13 of their last 16 games. Start of season “The always good Sabres finally spent money this off-season, they may be a Stanley Cup contender” -Every person who has ever existed.                 Past Week:1-4-0                                                                                                                Last 10: 2-6-2                                                                                                                  Jason Pominville: 17G 29A 46P                                                                                  Thomas Vanek: 19G 22A 41P

28. Tampa Bay Lightning, 18-23-4  40 Points. The Bolts have had an absolutely disappointing and horrendous year, at least Stamkos continues to live up to the hype.  Past Week: 1-2-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 3-6-1                                                                                                                 Steven Stamkos: 31G 20A +3

29. Edmonton Oilers, 17-25-4 38 Points. After a good start, it seems Operation: see how many #1 overall picks we can get in a row is back on, but it may be in jeopardy as Colombus already has 7 points on them, but there’s always  the lottery.                         Past Week: 1-3-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 2-7-1                                                                                                                 Jordan Eberle: 17G 26A 43P                                                                                            Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 13G 22A 35P

30 Columbus Blue Jackets, 13-28-5 31 Points. FAIL FOR NAIL!!!                                  Past Week: 2-2-0                                                                                                               Last 10: 4-6-0                                                                                                                     Rick Nash: 16G 16A 32P

*These Rankings are based of Stats and Standings as of Friday, January 20th at 4PM ET

-Vernon Smells