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Report: At least 10 teams interested in getting Nash

Friday, 06.15.2012 / 10:42 AM / News

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Report: At least 10 teams interested in getting Nash
The number of teams that are interested in acquiring Rick Nash has reached double digits, the Columbus Dispatch reported Friday morning.

The number of teams that are interested in acquiring Columbus Blue Jackets' captain Rick Nash has reached double digits, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported Friday morning.

Portzline wrote that NHL sources have told The Dispatch seven teams have engaged in "significant" trade conversations, while another three or four have "kicked the tires." The Blue Jackets and general manager Scott Howson have decided to rebuild, and Nash was reportedly made available before the February trade deadline.

Now that the postseason has ended, teams have begun in earnest again in their attempts to make a deal with the Blue Jackets for the best player in franchise history and one of the top power forwards in the League.

"Any return the Blue Jackets get will have to include help at Nash’s position of forward," Portzline wrote. "That doesn’t preclude a defenseman being in the mix, but losing Nash would gut an offense that has never scored enough goals even with him in the lineup."

Portzline reported the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs -- all teams reported to be interested in February -- are among those in the hunt for Nash, while the Carolina Hurricanes have joined the fray. Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford has stated his desire to add another impact forward to play with captain Eric Staal.

The Blue Jackets began their makeover at the deadline, trading Jeff Carter to Los Angeles for defenseman Jack Johnson and a future first-round pick, which is likely to be in 2013 because the Kings won the Stanley Cup so the pick would be No. 30 next week at the 2012 NHL Draft. Columbus can choose to take the No. 30 pick or wait for 2013.

Columbus also traded Antoine Vermette to Phoenix and Sammy Pahlsson to Vancouver before the deadline, but Nash remains Howson's most valuable asset and a potential deal is likely to dominate NHL headlines until one gets completed.

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp