Forward Rick Nash has given the New York Rangers his list of teams he can't be traded to without his permission, the first formal step required per the terms of his contract for the Rangers to trade him before the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline, which comes at 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 26.
Nash, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, gave the Rangers a list of 18 teams he could block a trade to. That leaves 12 teams that Nash can be traded to, unless he waives the no-trade clause in his contract.
"My No. 1 goal is to win a [Stanley] Cup with the Rangers and have a successful season with the Rangers," Nash said in Dallas on Monday. "It's unfortunate, but it's the business side of it when you're asked to make a list you think of the teams that have the best chance [to win the Stanley Cup]."
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Nash, 33, has 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists) in 52 games this season, his sixth with the Rangers since they acquired him in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 23, 2012. Nash is in the final season of an eight-year contract he signed with Columbus on July 3, 2009.
Nash has 249 points (142 goals, 107 assists) in 367 games with the Rangers. He has 796 points (431 goals, 365 assists) in 1,041 NHL games. He played in his 1,000th game Oct. 26, when the Rangers won 5-2 against the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden.
"I have no idea how I'm going to explain to my son that he can't cheer for the Rangers," Nash said. "That definitely went through my head. Every time he sees a goal he starts singing the song. It's tough, but it's reality. It's the business side of it, and when you go through certain things of where you could end up you think about your family and your kids and the best situation to win. It's tough."
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The Rangers are 4-9-0 since Jan. 3 entering their game against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-SW+, MSG, NHL.TV). They are last in the Metropolitan Division with 55 points, but two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
"You know coaches' jobs are to coach the players that they have available and players' jobs is to play, and Rick is a pro and he's going to play. I'm not concerned about that at all," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We've got to find a way as a team and individually to be a little bit better."