Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrates a third period goal with teammates while playing the San Jose Sharks at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The San Jose Sharks won the game 2-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins fans might be salivating at the prospect of a Rick Nash trade, but Ray Shero will be looking at some more inexpensive targets at the trade deadline.
Rick Nash is, by some distance, the biggest name player who could possibly move at the NHL trade deadline. Unsurprisingly, the fans of just about every team in contention for the Stanley Cup are dreaming up scenarios in which their team can acquire him. Unfortunately for fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins who have caught themselves daydreaming about the Columbus Blue Jackets forward, Pittsburgh probably doesn't have the assets and cap space to make this happen.
SB Nation's Pittsburgh Penguins blog, PensBurgh, has a look at some potential trade targets, and though they included Nash in their list simply for the sake of interest, he's not considered a realistic target.
Potential, suggested reasonable trade: On your xbox
Why it could happen: It couldn't.
Why it couldn't happen: Every reason in the world. The Pens are already a very top-heavy team with big money contracts for Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Marc-Andre Fleury. Adding another huge hit, not a great idea. And I can't see Columbus being too thrilled to sell their franchise for Jordan Staal and a couple of picks and prospects.
PensBurgh does, however, identify a couple of more realistic targets. Travis Moen fits the mold, both because his acquisition is realistic and because he fits Dan Bylsma's style. They compare him to Ales Hemsky, another available forward who doesn't necessarily fit the Penguins mold.
Classic UFA-to-be on a team not making the playoffs. Unlike Hemsky, Moen's physical style seems more fit for the Penguins in terms of his attitude on the ice and the way he plays the game.
David Jones could also be an excellent fit, and because he hasn't been very productive this season, he could potentially be undervalued.
Jones has size and scored 27 goals last season, so he's got some measure of hands too. Though close observers of the Avs say he's had a somewhat disappointing season this year, plugging Jones into the Pens lineup adds a little more offensive punch then currently found in top 6 wingers (outside of James Neal and Chris Kunitz, natch). Also Colorado probably would be willing to deal Jones at the deadline if the right deal came along.
Even though Ray Shero isn't likely to make a big splash this year like he did with the James Neal trade last season, the Penguins will be, at the very least, potential buyers at the deadline who will pull the trigger for the right stylistic and financial fit.
For more on the Pens and more Pens trade rumors and analysis, check out Pittsburgh Penguins blog PensBurgh.