The San Jose Sharks have contacted Columbus about forward Rick Nash and are becoming a strong contender to land the Blue Jackets captain, reports TSN’s Darren Dreger.
The Sharks, as Mark Purdy of the Mercury News wrote recently, are in need of a veteran top-six forward that can provide offense with consistency. Nash is among a number of players that would fit the bill, however, Purdy points out that his $7.8 million cap hit through 2018 and Columbus’ asking price may be a make the Sharks turn their attentions elsewhere.
According to Dreger, the Sharks balked at requests from the Blue Jackets that forward Logan Couture be included in any deal for Nash. Couture, along with forward Joe Pavelski Purdy says, are non-starters in any deal for Nash. Despite those players being off the table, Dreger expects the Sharks to remain in the hunt for Nash until it’s over — one way, or another.
What the Sharks have going for them is that Nash and Sharks forward Joe Thornton are long-time friends and have played well together at international tournaments, which may be one of the reasons Nash included the Sharks on his list of preferred trade destinations.
And because he’s armed with a no-trade clause, Nash can dictate where he ends up — a decision that he will have to live with for the next six-plus years of his life. Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson will have to accommodate Nash if the club is serious about dealing their franchise player.
Meanwhile, Howson told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he doesn’t have a trade to make yet, but negotiations with clubs are progressing along.
We’re waiting for the right deals. We’re getting closer. But we’re not there yet.