After weeks, if not months, of a dead trade market, the Columbus Blue Jackets finally breathed some life into it -- and changed everything.
For the right price, GM Scott Howson will move franchise forward Rick Nash and Nash immediately becomes the biggest name on the market, the biggest at any deadline since the Devils acquired Ilya Kovalchuk.
That said, it's going to take a massive return to pry Nash away from Howson and the Blue Jackets.
"You have to blow him out of the water," said one NHL GM. "Will he trade him then? Absolutely."
So who is poised to do that? Elite teams like Boston or Detroit probably wouldn't want to dismantle a winning roster but he becomes attractive to bubble teams looking for a huge boost before the deadline. But with only some of the NHL's teams ready and willing to deal, it does raise the question of timing.
"[Columbus] can't get 29 teams in the game," an NHL source said. "Why not wait until June?"
That could ultimately be the solution for Howson, but there are some teams that can do it now. And they may be willing to pay the steep price in order to get Nash sooner rather than later. Here are five leading candidates:
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