With Carter Dealt, Rumor Focus Turns To Nash, Brown

Written by Frank Castaldi on .

After the Kings' blockbuster deal with Columbus earlier tonight, newly-acquired Jeff Carter didn't even have time to order a round of man sodas shots of wheat grass for him and his old pal Mike Richards, before his name was already bumped down the water cooler gossip list.

TSN's Bob McKenzie had a very interesting tidbit of information towards the end of tonight's TradeCentre Insider Trading segment. And by tidbit, I mean humaangas beeg! According to McKenzie, in addition to Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier, captain Dustin Brown could also possibly be changing addresses prior to Monday's trade deadline.

Brown, although not as offensively potent as Rick Nash, is also one of those players that has other general managers across the League salivating at the lip. While Nash dazzles you with his amazing, natural scoring ability, Brown makes his living going into the dirty areas, hitting anything that moves, leading by example, oh, and he also has a scoring touch of his own, too.

While the New York Rangers remain the leading candidates to land Nash come Monday, they are considering shifting their focus towards the West Coast. And no, I don't mean Sean Avery should bring Henrik Lundqvist's Crown Collection to the Los Angeles runways for better publicity.

According to the New York Post's Larry Brooks, Sather's list of "untouchables" includes in all likelihood nearly everything Jackets GM Scott Howson would covet in a deal that would send his franchise player to Broadway.

With top prospects Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller, along with current Rangers Michael Del Zotto and Ryan McDonagh on Sather's you will never get this list, it's hard to believe that Howson will agree on any package sent his way by the Rangers. I'm sorry, but if I'm offering up the cornerstone of my franchise in his prime, it's going to take a lot more than Brandon Dubinsky, Christian Thomas, Dylan McIlrath and a first-round pick to pry him from me.

In addition to the players that would have to be involved in the deal, there's also the problem of taking on Nash's contract, which you guessed it, is also humaangas beeg. Adding Nash, who is under contract until 2018 with a $7.8 million annual salary cap hit, would make it nearly impossible for the Rangers to sign other key components of their team in the near future; which in the new era of the NHL, is pretty important.

If the Rangers were to take on Nash, they would have just under $29 million of their yearly cap space allotted to only four players: Nash, Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist and Brad Richards. Both Gaborik and Lundqvist are set to become free agents following the 2013-14 season, while Richards is signed until the next millennium.

That's not the biggest problem, however. After this season, Michael Del Zotto--who has emerged as the offensive defensemen the Rangers thought he would be when they drafted him 20th overall in 2008--will run out of his entry-level contract, setting him up as a restricted free agent.

He will certainly be due for a raise from his entry-level deal, which pays him just over $1 million. In addition to Del Zotto, the Rangers also have the contracts of Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin and Ryan McDonagh to worry about, as their entry-level contracts expire following next season.

With the way the new NHL opperates under the salary cap, is another pricy, long-term contract something Sather really wants to add? Even if it one of the most proven goal-scorers in the League?

If I'm Glen Sather, I let San Jose swoop in to the Nash sweepstakes and I turn my attention a little further south of the Cali coast; to Dustin Brown.

Brown and the Rangers just clicks, doesn't it? One of the biggest problems with the Nash deal, would be shaking up the outstanding chemistry that head coach John Tortorella has created with this Rangers' roster.

Adding a mega-star like Nash has the potential to bring on a lot of attention and pressure that the Rangers might not want. Brown, on the other hand, would fit seamlessly into the foundation that Tortorella has worked so diligently to create.

He's a gritty, American-born player (that played under Tortorella in the 2010 Olympic Games), leads the entire NHL with hits (215), has excellent leadership abilities and is an exceptional penalty killer. Oh, did I forget to mention that he's a pretty decent goal-scorer to boot?

Brown has scored 20 or more goals in each of his past four seasons, hitting 33 just three seasons ago and finishing two-goals shy of another 30-goal campaign just last year. He only has 14 thus far through 60 games this season, but a lot of that could be attributed to the Kings' anemic offense.

His characteristics and offensive production aren't the deal-maker, however. Unlike Nash, Brown's contract is immensely more manageable. If the Rangers were to acquire the Kings captain, not only would he cost less via exiting players, but, he'd also only be on the books for two more seasons at a very reasonable $3.175 million cap hit.

Of course, until Monday afternoon comes and goes, this is all just speculation.

Now, with that being said, it's time to turn on NHL12; I made an crucial offer for Scott Gomez earlier this morning, really hoping I can get my hands on him.

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