Columbus's Rick Nash during an NHL game against the Florida...

Columbus's Rick Nash during an NHL game against the Florida Panthers. (March 30, 2012) Credit: AP

It was one of three trades for New York teams today, and listen, maybe this was the best deal BJs boss Scott Howson could get.

It may have just come down to the choice of dealing with the win-now Rangers, with the Flyers closing in on Shea Weber, or nothing.

In a show of political correctness,  GM Glen Sather sympathized with Howson today, and called it "a fair deal". 

I'm not sure the Rangers wanted to lose prospect Tim Erixon, especially since Howson insisted on two NHL-ready forwards, but in my mind, you can't have Erixon be the stumbling block on a package. I'm not sure he would've been a top-2 defenseman on the Rangers in the next few years, given their makeup right now.  And with a telling need to shore up the offense, and add size upfront, a critical issue, I'm all for putting Erixon in. Anton Stralman will be re-signed for two years, I assume. Perhaps Michael Sauer (short term) or Brady Skjei or Dylan McIlrath or someone yet unnamed will step in long-term.  

Listen, Howson, too, was in a corner: Sather wasn't going to to move Chris Kreider (as Torts said on the radio tonight "that was a short conversation"), nor McDonagh, nor Derek Stepan, and probably dug in on Del Zotto. And the Nash camp was getting antsy. Sather said New York was one of Nash's top two destinations, and was resolute and patient. 

Faithful readers know I was lobbying for Nash long ago, you can check the files. I might've thrown in another pick or a prospect, too, that's how much I believe Nash, who will find a second win here---better players, less travel---and will help level the field in the Atlantic. The cap hit, Sather said, is a wash. Well, at least right now. Who knows with the CBA uncertainty?

“I think once Gaborik gets (healthy) and Nash gets together, we’ve got some pretty good offensive players right now,” said Sather, who reeled in Brad Richards last summer “This changes the complexion of our team. It’s not going to change the way we play, but his ability- he’s a world-class player.”

Tough break for Dubi, who was married on June 23 and knew something was up since Februray, and Anisimov, who is on his own honeymoon in the South Pacific.  You know who's going to miss Artie? Locker neighbor Brian Boyle, whose close friend Brandon Prust is in Montreal. Boyle, as I wrote earlier, told me today in Westcester (after he called his agent to be sure he was safe) that Nash will surely help, but that change in this business is constant, especially with a team determinded to improve.

More on all this coming up later, tomorrow and the days ahead.  Hearing Nash will be in NY on Wednesday.

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