Originally posted on The 6th Sens  |  Last updated 6/20/12

If what RDS’ Renaud Lavoie says is true, there’s a greater chance that Ottawa will see Pluto Nash in a Senators jersey than the Blue Jackets’ Rick Nash.

Sens had discussions about Rick Nash. Seems like that trade won't happen, Bryan Murray told me.

— Renaud P Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) June 19, 2012

Thank ****.

As a trade scenario that can be viewed as a stretch, we can finally put the Nash rumours to bed and stop scoffing at the alleged names that were tied to these trade negotiations – names that were probably leaked, much like San Jose’s Logan Couture, to help drive up the price for a team that actually has sincere interest in giving up the plethora of young pieces that it would take to acquire Nash or one that he’ll likely waive his NMC to go to.

At least now, we can quit fretting about pencilling in Nash’s abhorrent six year/ $7.8 million per annum contract into the team’s long-term plans and eventually, the league’s new CBA.

Yesterday, many of you raised the argument that Nash has never had a linemate or center that has Jason Spezza's playmaking ability.

It's a fair point.

But can we all recall how pundits and Ray Emery threw out outlandish suggestions that Dany Heatley could score more than 60 goals after moving to a line in San Jose with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau?
Here are Heatley's career numbers:  

Season Age Tm Lg GP G A PTS S S% ATOI 2001-02 21 ATL NHL 82 26 41 67 202 12.9 19:53 2002-03 22 ATL NHL 77 41 48 89 252 16.3 21:57 2003-04 23 ATL NHL 31 13 12 25 83 15.7 19:53 2005-06 25 OTT NHL 82 50 53 103 300 16.7 21:09 2006-07 26 OTT NHL 82 50 55 105 310 16.1 21:02 2007-08 27 OTT NHL 71 41 41 82 224 18.3 21:44 2008-09 28 OTT NHL 82 39 33 72 258 15.1 20:07 2009-10 29 SJS NHL 82 39 43 82 280 13.9 20:14 2010-11 30 SJS NHL 80 26 38 64 217 12.0 19:39 2011-12 31 MIN NHL 82 24 29 53 238 10.1 20:57

I've highlighted the season that he played at 28 years of age and as you can see over his next few seasons, his production has steadily decreased. Now I'm not saying that Rick Nash is the next Dany Heatley but what I am trying to illustrate is that Nash at age when goal scoring wingers tend to decline. In fact, it's well documented. 

As Neil Greenberg from the Washington Post indicated:

"History suggests elite goal scorers are often average goal scorers by the time they turn 27 years old. Most goal-scoring wingers peak between ages 23 and 25, and then the decline begins to accelerate after age 26."

To put this into perspective, Scott astutely pointed out:

@BonksMullet Only players to average 30 goals, 60 points from 28-33 during the last decade were Iginla, Jagr and Hossa. That's it.

— Scott (@Wham_City) June 19, 2012

That's some select and lonely company.

While there is the possibility that Nash could develop his offensive game and flourish into his mid-to-late thirties like an Alfredsson or a Selanne, that's a huge risk to take - especially for an organization that would inevitably have to sell some of its best young prospects to Columbus to bring in a scorer who may have already peaked.

Albeit, I do have some worries about some offensive regression next season but I just fail to see the benefits in trading for a risky commodity like Nash. Acquiring such a player at this juncture is the move that a team that is one piece away from Stanley Cup contention should be doing, not a retooling team like the Ottawa Senators. 

Alfie Coming Back?

Daniel Alfredsson, sidelined by virus recently, set to begin off-season workouts. Said if he feels good in workouts, likely to play again.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 19, 2012


Great news that cannot even be subdued by a photograph of Alfie being photographed with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback.


Speaking of Alfie, Backhand Shelf borrowed from the new Dark Knight Rises trailer and created this video for Alfie's hopefully imminent decision to return next season:

NHL Rule Changes... 

Yesterday it was announced that the NHL board of governors has decided to endorse two rule changes:
  • 67.2 now reads “any time a player places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck, a minor penalty shall be assessed for closing his hand on the puck.When this is done in his own team's goal crease area, a penalty shot shall be assessed (67.4) or a goal awarded (67.5). A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who, while play is in progress, picks up the puck off the ice with his hand.
  • Rule 76.4: Both players facing-off are prohibited from batting the puck with their hand in an attempt to win the face-off. Any attempt by either center to win the face-off by batting the puck with their hand shall result in a minor penalty. This penalty shall be announced as a minor penalty for delay of game. Once the face-off is deemed complete, and the winner of the face-off is clear, hand passes shall be enforced as per Rule 79.
In other words, the NHL is one rule away -- banning fighting -- from rendering Zenon Konopka useless.
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