Originally posted on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 7/8/12
Blue Jackets beat writer at Aaron Porzline went on WFAN yesterday & said this...

@Aportzline just said that from what he understands, (can't confirm) but a deal of Dubinsky, Stepan and a pick could get Rick Nash to NYR.

— Brian Monzo (@BMonzoWFAN) July 7, 2012

H/T to reader James W, who I will have big news about on Monday.

...i love Stepan, but to me this is a no brainer. If true, Sather has to make this deal.

...while Stepan is guaranteed to be a solid NHL player, you're crazy if you think he'll ever develop into the caliber of player Nash is. Not saying this will happen to Stepan but do you remember how good Dubinsky was his rookie year. Plus he was better in the faceoff circle. Rangers need scoring and this deal is the answer. If this deal does go down, Anisimov will be counted on to step up and be the 2nd line center we all hope he can be.

...to be honest, I'm more concerned about the length of Nash's contract (until 2018) than giving up Stepan.

***

Having said that, if the Rangers have to opportunity to obtain Shea Weber, I'd hang-up the phone on Columbus in a second.

And it looks like Larry Brooks at the New York Post agrees with me as he writes...

"The Rangers have all sorts of players quarantined in their bid for Nash, and well they should. But for Weber, an intimidating physical force at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds who was on ice for more power-play goals scored than any other player in the league, the list would be as short as this:

1. Henrik Lundqvist (redundant anyway with Nashville owning Pekka Rinne); 2. Ryan McDonagh; 3. Ryan Callahan; 4. Dan Girardi; 5. Chris Kreider."

Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik have no move or no trade clauses so they wouldn't be in the discussion.

To further his argument, Brooks adds this regarding Weber's power play prowess...

"Weber was on for 47 of the 54 goals Nashville scored in leading the NHL at 21.6 percent on the man-advantage, on for one power-play goal every 5:38, another NHL best. For comparison, Michael Del Zotto, on at the point for 28 of the Blueshirts' 44 PPGs, had a ratio of one for every 11:31."

The only negative to getting Weber is the contract. Brooks says it'll likely be 14 years at between $112 million and $119 million, front-loaded for the first nine years with $1 million per in each of the last five years, for a cap hit of between $8 million and $8.5 million per. The 27-year old Weber would be 40 at the end of the contract.

...this guy is a game changer and fills the Rangers biggest need which is a point presence on the power play. It'll hurt to give-up the likes of Dubinsky, Stepan, Del Zotto and Miller to get him, but I think it would be worth it. Much more than getting Nash. Especially when Weber has the experience of playing in a Western Conference Final last season.

***

Adam Proteau at the Hockey News has a great piece on how Brad Richards is not only rich, but is loved in New York...

"However, goal scoring wasn't the chief reason Tortorella and the Rangers wanted him in their lineup. The things he did behind the scenes, such as taking his new teammates out one or two at a time on the road to foster familiarity and team cohesion and sell his coach's message, were equally crucial. And it is this side of Richards – the loyalty he cultivates in a dressing room, the support he provides to his fellow players – that's one of the biggest drivers of his success."

...i've been wrong about a lot of things on this blog, but nothing more than my negative opinion on Richards. This guy is a huge factor in the Rangers becoming a perennial Stanley Cup contender, with not only his play on the ice, but his leadership off it.

...i highly recommend you read the entire piece.

***

Speaking of being loved, Paul Bissonnette of the Phoenix Coyotes says this about former teammate and newest Ranger Taylor Pyatt...

Great dinner with Taylor Pyatt in Toronto tonight. Going to be tough not having him back in Phoenix. You Rangers fans will love him.

— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 7, 2012

...let's hope BizNasty is right because losing both Prust and Fedotenko leave some pretty big holes to fill.

Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.
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