Rick Nash will boost Blueshirts

In the short term, star winger will help ailing Rangers offense

Originally Published: July 24, 2012
By Neil Greenberg | Special to ESPN Insider
NashJohn Grieshop/Getty ImagesRick Nash should provide an offensive spark for New York in the short term.

The New York Rangers improved their scoring Monday, acquiring forward Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round pick next year.

Nash, 28, carries a $7.8 million cap hit through 2018 and has seen his scoring totals decline in each of the past three seasons. In the long term, there may be some downside to this trade, but it was a deal the Rangers had to make to improve their Stanley Cup chances in the short term. After averaging 2.71 goals per game during the 2011-12 regular season, they saw their offense plummet to 2.15 goals per game in 20 postseason contests. While there is risk to acquiring a scoring winger on the wrong side of his prime, Nash makes the Rangers the team to beat next season.

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.