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Rick Nash is Ready to Make New York Rangers Debut

January 19th, 2013 at 1:17 PM
By PJ Foti

'Rick Nash' photo (c) 2010, 5of7 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The wait is over for the New York Rangers prized offseason acquisition.

The New York Rangers made headlines when they traded Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick for Rick Nash this summer. Analysts raved over the move, thinking Nash's offensive skills would finally put the Rangers over the top, making them favorites for the 2013 Stanley Cup.

Fans were equally, if not more excited to see the big winger on Broadway. Well, everything was delayed after a 119-day lockout, wiping out months of the season.

Nash spent his entire career playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team that drafted him first overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, and had plenty of individual success in his first 10 years in the league.

He's been an All-Star five times, has an Olympic gold metal and has scored 30-plus goals in five consecutive seasons. One thing he never did in Columbus was win, something he believes he can do in New York.

"I spent the last four or five years as a captain for Columbus. My game and my character improved a lot from that," Nash said. "Coming into a team that already had success here, I think it's the perfect time for me to jump in and help out in any way I can."

Teammate, and projected linemate Brad Richards feels for him. He said he knows how anxious Nash is to get on the ice, being his first year in New York. Richards noted, however, that Nash will have plenty of help making his transition from small market to the bright lights.

"When you're a little older and expected to bring some leadership, it's a fine line between looking like someone that's coming in and trying to change things and getting into the room and trying to blend in while trying to help," Richards said. "I think Rick will feel a lot less weight on his shoulders with all the help he has in here. He can just go and lead on the ice by example."

His impact on the team will be immense. He will face plenty of attention no matter where he is on ice which could open things up for the rest of the Blueshirts.

Sure, Nash will create his own opportunities and find the back of the net to help the team, but expect Marian Gaborik to have a career year with Nash on this roster. The pressure will finally be off Gaborik to be "the guy" so expect him to light it up if he's going against teams' second pairing of defenseman, rather than their top guys.

Rick Nash is anxious to get on the ice, as the fans are ready to watch him. But you heard it here first, that Marian Gaborik will receive the most benefit by New York's key offseason acquisition.

Finally, let's drop the puck.

Tags: Artem Anisimov, Brad Richards, Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus Blue Jackets, Hockey, Marian Gaborik, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Rick Nash, Tim Erixon

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