Some Brief Thoughts Before Madness Ensues

So Mike and I were at the bar last night which means we talked a lot of hockey. He brought up the one player I haven’t really addressed in the last 9 days: Rick Nash.

As we are now officially into the actual start to free agency, and with news floating around that Zach Parise is looking for a $12 million signing bonus and another $12 million guaranteed for next July, I’m getting fearful that he may be more interested in money and less interested in chasing the Cup. Signing bonuses count against the cap and that’s about all the money the Pens have to offer period, that’s going to be tough.

So let’s turn the focus towards Rick Nash for a minute. The only issue I can foresee with going after Nash is that the Penguins are short by one piece. We all know that the Rangers have been trying since before the trade deadline to acquire Nash and they’ve always complained that the asking price is too high. Columbus is in a good position when it comes to trading Nash because Nash has never really complained of being unhappy or demanding a trade out of Columbus, as a result they don’t have to lower their asking price in order to get a deal done. From what I understand they want four pieces and two of them have to be quality NHLers. That’s where the issue is.

My prediction as to what the Pens would move is as follows:

Paul Martin

Simon Despres

1st Round Pick in 2013

??????

I think the first two are pretty much no brainers, Martin paired with Jack Johnson could be incredibly solid and they could prove to be great mentors to Despres and this year’s second overall pick Ryan Murray and all of a sudden that becomes a really decent defense with a lot of upside.

Despres has been talked about as probably the best value trade piece going for the Penguins and his inclusion here really shouldn’t come as a surprise. The first round pick next year is pretty much a given. I just don’t know who that fourth piece and second proven NHLer would be. I mean if TK hadn’t had a horrible year this past season it could have been him, but he did and he won’t be adding anything to the trade, Vitale probably doesn’t have enough of a history in the NHL and both Matt Cooke and Craig Adams are probably too old to be desirable to a team that is trying to rebuild.

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