Rick Nash: The Consummate New York Ranger
By Patrick Hoffman
Whenever a team goes out and signs a big goal scorer or point-producer, a lot of pressure is placed on that particular player.
That pressure is doubled when that player signs in a big market. The media gets on the player constantly. The fans also get on top of the player and because of these things, that particular player has to deal with constant questioning and wondering on a daily basis.
With all of that said, there are some players who know how to handle situations like the one described above. One player who has been able to do that is New York Rangers forward Rick Nash.
As of this writing (February 5, 2018), Nash, 33, has gone ahead and submitted his no-trade list to his hockey club. With the trade deadline looming and the team's playoff position and hopes in no-man's land, it appears that the team could be sellers and that Nash could be one of the pieces that gets shipped out.
While it would be understandable if the team does deal Nash, Nash has essentially been a terrific pro since becoming a member of the franchise. Nash, 33, came to the Blueshirts prior to the 2012-13 season and once he joined the team, there was a lot that was expected of him.
When he was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets, he consistently put up big numbers and was a big-time goal scorer. On the Rangers, however, Nash has been a mixed bag as he has had goal totals of 21, 26, 42, 15, 23, and 15 this season (As of February 5, 2018).
While those numbers are not exactly terrible, they were certain numbers that fans thought would be better. With that said, Nash never took things personally and instead, has always worked hard to continue putting pucks on net, generate scoring chances, scoring as many goals as he can and going hard to the net.
Not only has he done everything he can to improve his offensive game, but he has also become perhaps the team's best two-way forward. When he's on the ice, he breaks up a lot of passes, is able force a lot of takeaways, and plays in all key defensive situations for the team.
Lastly, Nash has handled the media extremely well in his time with the Blueshirts. He answers all the questions that are asked of him and in recent years, has been a lot more talkative with the media and someone that media relies on to be honest with not only his play, but the team's play as a whole as well.
Even when submitting his no-trade list to the Rangers, Nash was extremely professional. According to Rangers' veteran beat writer Steve Zipay, Nash was very gracious and expressed his disappointment in having to do this while also saying that he loves being a Ranger and wants to win a cup with them.
If Nash does end up getting moved, he should be remembered as a Ranger who always worked hard to better his game and as someone who was the consummate pro for their franchise.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.