I’ll never forget the afternoon of July 23rd 2012. There were rumblings about Rick Nash and the New York Rangers for weeks. The trade deadline came and went and nothing happened. Talks picked up in the off-season and it finally come to a close. Glen Sather pulled the trigger. He traded fan favorites Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anismov alongside defensemen Tim Erixon and the Rangers 2013 first round pick in exchange for 40 goal scorer Rick Nash and a conditional third round pick.
Twenty one year old me was behind excited. Finding all my fellow rangers fans at work yelling we just got Rick Fucking Nash! It was the end of July and I just couldn’t wait for October to come to see this monster on the ice. His first season which happened to be the lockout shortened season. Rick Nash put up 21-21. 42 points in 44 games. Everyone was loving them some Rick. But criticism soon followed where he only tallied 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists) in 12 playoff games that season.
His second season, 2013-2014, Nash suffered a concussion on October 8th which resulted in him missing 17 games. It’s safe to say that concussion changed Nash as a player. He returned and was able to score 26 goals that year and how a significantly low number of assists, 13. It was his worse season statistically in his career. He once again pulled a ghost move and was unnoticeable in the Rangers Stanley Cup run. He only managed to muster up 3 goals in 25 games that year. Could have been 4 if girlfriend beater extraordinaire Slava Voynovs stick wasn’t in perfect position. Yes I’m still bitter. Yes I will always be bitter. This all leads to Nash becoming a scapegoat for the Rangers downfall from all the morons on twitter. The Nash hate to this day will never make sense to me.
2014-2015 season. Nash had his best season since joining the Blueshirts. He finished with 42 goals which was the third most in the league that year. Not too shabby for a guy who underperforms am I right? Nash finished the year with 69 points. Niceeeee. He also stepped up big time in the playoffs with 14 points in 19 games. But whiney Rangers fans will tell me “he only scored 5 goals though. He’s overrated merrrrp.” Yeah because being a couple points shy of a point per game in the playoffs is being overrated. I hate you people.
The next couple of the seasons the injury bug started to hit Rick Nash. Back spasms, groin injury, possibly some lingering concussion symptoms. Nash couldn’t catch a break. When he was healthy he was still outstanding. He wasn’t the spectacular goal scorer he was in Columbus or his first couple years as a Ranger but he was awesome. He completely transformed his game. He went from elite goal scorer to and outstanding two way player. He improved tremendously on the defensive side of the puck. He still had the scoring touch at times, when he was hot he was hot. But it all gets overlooked because he didn’t bring us a cup. But people are still up in arms over the Rangers trading Carl Hagelin. Guess what, he didn’t bring us one either!
So who won this trade at the end of the day? You better believe it was the Rangers. Probably one of Sathers better moves towards the end of his run as GM. Dubinsky never hit that level many believed he was going to hit. He’s been a solid player for Columbus but never blossomed into that potential superstar. Artem Anisimov got traded to Chicago. He was basically a throw in but his career has been nice in Chicago. That happens when you are surrounded by guys like Patrick Kane, Jonathon Toews and Duncan Keith. Tim Erixon hasn’t even played a full NHL season since being traded. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was dead. But he’s currently playing hockey over in Sweden. So he’s not dead. The first round pick that the Rangers traded to Columbus turned into Kerby Rychel he never amounted to much he’s basically a career AHLer. The third round conditional pick the Rangers received turned into Pavel Buchnevich. So the Rangers basically got Rick Nash and Pavel Buchnevich for Dubinsky and Anismov. I will do that trade every single day for the rest of my life.
Rick Nash was always one of my favorite Rangers. He was a great guy, great player and I loved the way he would stare into the camera and look into my soul whenever he did an interview. He wasn’t appreciated by everyone but hopefully he knows there’s a ton of Rangers fans who would loved and enjoyed his time here in New York. Thank you Rick Nash and if you decide to hang up this offseason, congratulations on one hell of a career.