After months of negotiations, and much patience and anxiety on both sides of the coin, the Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets finalized a blockbuster seven-player trade Monday in which the Blueshirts acquired star left-wing Rick Nash.
Along with Nash the Rangers also acquired minor league defenseman Steven Delisle and a conditional third round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. In order to acquire the five-time NHL All Star Nash, the Rangers dealt forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, and defenseman Tim Erixon, to Columbus, along with the team's first round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Nash, the first overall selection in the 2002 NHL Draft, is a two-time 40-goal scorer whose career-best 41 goals in 2003-04 earned him a co-share of the Rocket Richard Trophy along with Calgary's Jarome Iginla and Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk. He has scored 289 goals and notched 547 points in 674 career games.
"Obviously (Nash) is an elite player, and he's going to help us, for sure," said Brian Boyle, who was attending the Rangers Summer Youth Hockey Camp at the MSG Training Center when news of the trade came down. "It's never good to see your friends go, but Nash is a great player and I am excited he's going to be a part of our team."
Last season Nash, who served as Blue Jackets captain since the 2008-09 season---the only one in which Columbus reached the Stanley Cup playoffs, scored 30 goals and totaled 59 points while playing the entire season under much trade speculation. The Rangers made a strong bid to acquire Nash prior to the NHL trading deadline and then continued their pursuit following the post-season.
"(The front office) is going to do what's best for the organization, that's their job, that's what they have to do," said Boyle. "We're trying to get better here and we're trying to win, because we got better last year but we didn;t achieve what we wanted to. They have the team's best interests in mind, and you want to be part of an organization like that, one that is building to win now."
One of only eight players ever to have reached the 40-goal plateau as a teenager in the NHL, Nash has also represented Canada in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, helping Canada to the gold medal in '10. Nash has also proven to be quite a durable player---having missed only 53 games in his nine-year NHL career.
Dubinsky and Anisimov were a pair of popular home-grown forwards who played important roles in the Rangers return to prominence the past several seasons. Dubinsky finished his Rangers career with 81 goals and 213 points in 393 games, while Anisimov scored 46 goals and totaled 108 points in 244 contests.
Erixon, acquired a year ago from Calgary where he was a first round draft pick, split his lone season in the Rangers organization between the Blueshirts and the Connecticut Whale.
The 21 year-old Delisle split last season between the AHL and ECHL, his first professional season after being selected by the Blue Jackets in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
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