There is very little chance that you have not already heard, Rick Nash to the New York Rangers was finalized today for a bag of pucks. While I do not know what Columbus asked Paul Holmgren for in return, you would have to imagine it was a hell of a lot more than he asked Glen Sather. I just do not see Homer turning down Rick Nash for comparative players from the Flyers that Columbus got from the Rangers. However, now it is time to turn the page and get a better grasp on what Nash to the Rangers means for the Flyers, and the importance it has on the Weber Offer Sheet.
Do not get it twisted, the Rangers got a lot better today. Trash Nash all you like, but New York acquired a winger who has made 5 all star games and has averaged 32 goals a year with nobodies on his line. Anytime you add that player to a line with Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, or Ryan Callahan and things start to get dicey. Say what you will about their defense, King Lundqvist is back there to save the day. This Ranger team, who just swept us 6 games last season, widened the gap on our Flyers, and it made Shea Weber invaluable to our team now.
I personally feel the Flyers took a step back this off-season. Take “growth” and “potential” out of the equation and what are you left with? Additions, Schenn, Fedotenko, Gervais…Subtractions, Carle, JVR, Jagr. I see a step in the wrong direction regardless of intentions. What today’s trade really did, was add more leverage to Poile. He knows how much stronger our division just became, and level of importance HIS player just reached. Poile can now demand a different set of players in return for not matching an offer sheet he guaranteed matching. My question, if you were Homer, what do you do?
I am typically a gambler, I like to roll the dice and risk it all. This situation has me calling for the safe pick. Do not call their bluff to match and risk losing this AMAZING (and needed) asset. Give up some more players to save cap room, throw in some picks that will be in the 20’s anyway, and sweeten the deal by adding Gus or MAB, just get the guarantee the deal is done. We cannot afford to swing and miss here for Weber when we have so many stars on the teams that we fight with. Yes we outscored Pitt in the division series, but how often will Crosby and Malkin be so ineffective, while Fleury so horrific? I am not depending on that again and neither should you. Weber closes the cap between us and the Rangers immensely while keeping us there for, oh I don’t know, 14 years? Shed enough salary that you can attract a Shane Doan, or you can make a move for a Bobby Ryan (wishful thinking I know), but do not sit there and gamble with our season. I am not a homer, I will admit we when we are in trouble, and ON PAPER, we are staring at the backs of the New York Rangers in this division and conference, and that is not a friendly position.
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