Now that the NHL season is over, the trade market is beginning to heat up ahead of the draft on June 22 and 23 in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Rick Nash, captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets, was the hottest commodity at the NHL's trade deadline this year. Though he was not moved, the events that surrounded the chase for Nash seemed to signal that he was finished in Columbus.
There have been at least seven teams that have had significant discussions with the Blue Jackets about Nash since the season ended according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch. The Dispatch reports that at least three or four other teams have kicked the tires on Nash.
The report also quotes Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson as saying he has had significantly more discussions this week, but he declined to name any specific players.
The New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes were all mentioned in the report as teams with serious interest.
Nash is the owner of every single meaningful Blue Jackets record and has been the face of the franchise since he was their first draft pick in 2002. This has led the Jackets to place a very high price tag on the 27-year-old forward.
Columbus is believed to be looking for a forward and a defenseman in return for Nash as well as picks.
It is highly likely that Nash is dealt on the eve of the draft, or sometime during the first day of the event.