Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash is on the market and the San Jose Sharks are believed to be one of his suitors, according to a report in Wednesday mornings Columbus Dispatch.
Its been widely reported that Nash has given the Blue Jackets a short list of teams he would be willing to accept a trade to, but that list is not known. According to the Dispatch:
Nash said he would not stand in the way of a trade if management thought it would improve the Blue Jackets. He supplied the club with a list of teams no more than 10, a source said to which he would approve a trade.Im a Blue Jacket right now, Nash said yesterday as the team prepared to play host to the St. Louis Blues in Nationwide Arena. Ive played my whole career here, and its a special place to me. So, as of right now, Im a Blue Jacket.Among the clubs believed to be interested are the New York Rangers, Los Angeles, San Jose, Toronto and Montreal.
Of course, acquiring Nash would not be easy. The Sharks would likely have to part ways with a combination top prospects and draft picks, as well as clear space for his salary on the current roster and for years to come. Nash is signed through the 2017-18 season at a 7.8 million salary cap hit.
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Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have no trade clauses for the duration of their contracts through the end of the 2013-14 season, while Dan Boyle has one until June 30, 2012, at which time he can pick eight teams he would not accept a trade to, according to Capgeek.com. Michal Handzus has a no movement clause in his two-year contract he signed last summer.
Nash played with Thornton, Marleau and Boyle on the 2010 Canadian Olympic team that won gold in Vancouver, as well as with Thornton in 2004-05 during the NHL's lockout year in Switzerland.
Nash, 27, was the first pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and has spent his entire career with the Blue Jackets. The five-time All-Star, who tied for the league lead in goals in 2003-04 with 41, has 277 goals and 250 assists for 527 points in 649 games over eight-plus seasons.