The Dallas Stars are going to be looking to the trade market to make improvements. This series of posts is going to focus on potential Stars targets to identify who, if any, of the big names are good fits in Dallas. If you have any specific requests send a Tweet my way @JoshL1220.
Rick Nash is unquestionably the biggest "name" available. He's a very large human being known for scoring many goals and playing for very bad teams for his entire career. He comes with a hefty price tag, has to waive his no trade clause in any deal, and the zany Scott Howson is the general manager responsible for pulling the trigger. The Stars have money to spend. The Stars have prospect treasure available to trade if they decide to go after Nash. Now, should they, and if they do how much is picking up Nash going to cost the Stars?
What is Rick Nash?
Nash is a goal scorer first and foremost. Nash has topped 30 goals in each of the past five seasons, and he's done so in eight of the last nine years. The one time he didn't in the nine year stretch he scored 27. On a nightly basis Nash played against the top competition of the opposition in 2011. Nash finished the year even in Corsi despite having to work against the top players (Not top checker...top players. Think Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk, and Jonathan Toews) with relatively little talent around him after the Jeff Carter trade.
Nash is a very good player, but his reputation as a scorer has gotten somewhat out of hand. In 2012 Nash was 111th among NHL forwards with >50 games played in even strength points per 60 minutes. In 2011 he was 2nd in the NHL behind Daniel Sedin. In 2010 he was 112th. In 2009 he was 18th. In 2008 he was 89th. He was performing at a superstar level offensively in 2011. He was really really good in 2009. Other than that he's been a good top six forward over the past five years, but not a superstar.
Rick Nash is being paid like a superstar, but he most likely isn't a superstar. If his next organization is able to match him more appropriately to boost his offensive opportunities he might be able to perform at that level, but that's a lot of uncertainty for a guy that is going to be making 7.8 million dollars a year through 2018.
The cost in trade is also reportedly very prohibitive. GM Scott Howson was asking for the moon at the trade deadline. Reportedly the New York Rangers could have had Nash for the highly touted Tim Erixon, current beasts Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto, and their first round pick plus likely another smaller piece. That's a heck of a package, and the Stars would have a hard time absorbing it for a player who, while good, doesn't fill their most pressing need up front.
Based on the reported asking price can the Stars make a trade happen? Sure. If you assume Howson is asking for a similarly high return he would probably ask the Stars for Jack Campbell, Jamie Oleksiak, and their 2012 first round pick. Given that the Stars pick will be worth more than the Rangers pick more ancillary pieces are probably unnecessary unless the reported demands are lower than the actual demands.
If that deal can be made should the Stars make it? If Rick Nash is superstar Rick Nash they have to have the conversation, even if it makes them uncomfortable. Trading for a player like Nash is going to be a franchise-altering proposition one way or the other. I probably leave the table if that is the price, but, considering their demands from the Rangers and the rumors of James van Riemsdyk being involved from last week, the Stars will have to come heavy with a package if they hope to be in the discussion.