When Rick Nash was traded to the Rangers in the summer of 2012, everyone was over the moon, and for good reason. Not only did Glen Sather pull off a trade that saw the Rangers gain more than they lost, but the team got the goalscorer they had desperately needed since Jaromír Jágr left.
But if Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins proved anything, it’s that Nash can’t be the single driving force of the Rangers’ offense.
To be fair, Rick Nash has had his fair share of the cosmic slap. Last season didn’t start until January and as a result he, along with the rest of the team was never able to play up the level they were expected to be at prior to the season. This season, he got a concussion early on, during that embarrassing 9-2 loss to San Jose.
Tuesday’s loss was Nash’s first appearance in the lineup since that game in San Jose, and yes, it’s going to take time for him to get back to normal. But him being in top form doesn’t change the fact that the Rangers need more than one pure goalscorer. Sure, the supplemental goals from the bench can win us games at times, but it’s nothing compared to what Nash and a second goalscorer could do for us.
The trade deadline is pretty far off, but here are a couple of players the Rangers should consider adding into the lineup.
1. Devin Setoguchi-Winnipeg Jets
Setoguchi is the kind of player who would thrive not only from having Alain Vigneault as a coach, but in the Rangers’ new system in general. He’s the kind of forward who does need to be disciplined, but when he is and is given the freedom to move up on the wing, he can be lethal. He’s proven himself as a useful power play asset and that’s something the Rangers are always desperate for. Could be a bit of a gamble, but could end up making a significant difference.
2. Matt Duchene-Colorado Avalanche
This one is definitely a stretch, but hey, if the Rangers could get Rick Nash for what they got him for, maybe this could happen, too. I mean, could you imagine your first line being Nash, Duchene and Ryan Callahan? It would hurt every opponent the Rangers go up against. He can go on the wing as well, which might be more beneficial since the team is pretty much set in terms of forwards.
I don’t think this trade is going to happen in a million years and I can’t see Colorado wanting to part with him at the trade deadline. But, like I said, Sather has pulled off miracles before, so I won’t completely rule this dream out.
3. Bobby Ryan-Ottawa Senators
I mention Ryan just about every year whenever I write a column about players who the Rangers should get. Ryan would be perfect for any team really, but he would be especially perfect for the Rangers. He’s phenomenal with setting up the play and is more than useful on the face off. He’s the complete package and what you would want in a forward. Sure, he can be a bit lazy and he would have been even better with Tortorella’s Rangers, but I think Vigneault will also do a good job of making Ryan work in the Rangers’ system. He’d be perfect for them.