While I was away on vacation last week, the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets decided to do a little transferring of players. Even if I was here, I probably wouldn’t have written anything until now. That’s commitment! The Rangers acquired Rick Nash, someone they were rumored to be pursuing months ago leading up to their playoff run, along with Steve Delisle, in exchange for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and Tim Erixon.
Nash is obviously the big player, although his value is perhaps not as clear cut as we may expect. It may surprise you, especially if you are easily startled, that Nash has only cracked 70 points once in his career (’08-’09). Nevertheless, he is a left winger, and only four of the top 20 points leaders last season played LW. Of course, Nash wasn’t one of those four, but again, there is a lack of production at that position as compared to other forwards. Nash also played in Columbus, which ranked 26th in Goals per Game. Now he joins a team that was ranked 11th, and maybe he passes that 70 point mark again. Is the line of 33 goals and 42 assists too much to expect? I’m not so sure. I would gamble on it, and I didn’t even make use of the casino at the resort I stayed at last week.
Dubinsky was a fan favorite in the Big Apple, and he fit into the system well, giving up his body and hustling, tri-yadda. He had a career low 34 points in 77 games last season, and the year before that, he had a career high of 54 in 77. More likely, he is going to score in the 40-45 point range, although being in Columbus may knock a few points off of that total. Anisimov may actually be the better player in the deal, a lean defensive minded Center (re: not a Defenseman like I previously wrote) who can score 40 points. He probably takes a hit as well, though. Erixon, which I like to pronounce as “erection,” did not produce boner inducing numbers in limited time with the Rangers (2 assists in 18 games), but his lower level numbers show promise. If he can play a full season, you could be looking at 50 points on the high (like, really high) end, although that’s going to be assist heavy. Some predictions – Dubinsky 14 goals, 28 assists; Anisimov 13 goals, 22 assists; Erection, 9 goals, 36 assists.
Delisle is the after thought here, the meaty belch hours after a meal. He didn’t do much last season down below because of an injury up above (shoulder, to be exact), although he has been cleared to throw a football. I’m not sure you’ll see much of him next season with the Rangers, probably spending most of his time in the AHL with the Connecticut Whale. He may produce something like 5 goals and 15 assists over a few weeks with New York, but I wouldn’t even worry about that. Why stress? If he starts on the active roster, we’ll figure it out then! You and me, pal.