The trade that held the NHL hostage for nearly half a calendar year was finally complete pending approval from the league.
The Rangers acquired power forward Rick Nash (above), minor league defenseman Steve Delisle and a conditional 2013 third-round pick in exchange for forwards Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, defensive prospect Tim Erixon and the Rangers' first-round pick in 2013.
Nash, 28, appeared in 82 games last season and scored 59 points (30 goals, 29 assists). The first overall pick in the 2002 draft, Nash spent the first nine seasons of his NHL career in Columbus. He is the franchise's career leader in virtually every offensive category including goals (289) and points (547). Nash appeared in five all-star games and four playoffs games. He has seven seasons remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $7.8 million.
Delisle, 21, appeared in 38 games with the Chicago Express of the ECHL and scored four points (one goal, three assists).
The third-round draft pick the Rangers received would be returned to the Blue Jackets if the Rangers reached next season's Stanley Cup final.
Anisimov (right), 24, appeared in 79 games last season and scored 36 points. He has one year left on a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.875 million.
Dubinsky, 26, appeared in 77 games last season and scored 34 points. He has two years left on a contract with a salary cap hit of $4.2 million.
Erixon, 21, appeared in 18 NHL games last season and recorded two assists. In 52 games last season with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL, he scored 33 points (three goals, 30 assists). He has two years left on an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $1.75 million. He was a first-round pick (No. 23) overall of the Flames in 2009.
After this trade, the Blue Jackets now have three first-round picks in the 2013 draft. In addition to their own, the now have the Rangers' original pick and the Kings' original pick which was acquired in a trade last season.
EN Says: Blue Jackets Scott Howson waited all this time to make this trade? Two second- or third-line caliber forwards, a high-end defensive prospect and first-round pick which will likely be in the 20s?
This is a very underwhelming return for a world-class player such as Nash. The Rangers gave up relatively little to add an all-star to their roster.
In all fairness to the Blue Jackets, their hands were partially tied as Nash had a limited list of teams he could approve a trade with. The Rangers had been one of the most aggressive of potential trade partners dating back to February.
Nash fills an immediate need for the Rangers. Goals. He's a former 40-goal scorer and he joins a team which struggled offensively, particularly on the power play. He'll immediately help the Rangers fill the net.
The acquisition of Delisle appears to be a procedural move which gets the Blue Jackets in line with the amount of contracts an organization can have. The fact the Rangers were able to coax a third-round pick out of the Blue Jackets is a nice bonus.
For the Blue Jackets, they needed forwards and they got two NHL-ready players to fill that void. Dubinsky (above) is a former 20-goal threat who was in the dog house of Rangers coach John Tortorella. A solid two-way player, Dubinsky will help the Blue Jackets in every area ont he ice.
Anisimov is a player capable of being a 20-goal, 60-point threat, but his abilities have been limited in the Rangers defense-first approach. Perhaps he'll find an offensive game suited for his abilities under Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards.
Erixon (right) is probably the best player asset in this trade for the Blue Jackets. He's a player who projects to be a top-two defenseman at the NHL level. He can eat up minutes and collect points. He needs to learn how to play the physical game at the NHL level however.
In the end, Nash and the Blue Jackets had to divorce. They had won zero playoff games during his tenure in Columbus. But they had to get more back for him.
Looking at the Atlantic Division, the Rangers acquisition of Nash comes on the heels of the Flyers signing restricted free agent defenseman Shea Weber to an offer sheet. The Predators have until Wednesday to decide if they want to match the offer. If they don't, the Flyers will add their own world class talent.
Does this mean the Penguins need to make their own big signing or trade? Ray Shero is hardly a reactionary individual who just makes trades for the sake of making trades. While the trades of Jordan Staal and Zybnek Michalek have cleared salary cap space and added prospects to the system, he's done very little to improve a team in the immediate short-term sense.
(Photos: Nash-John Grieshop/Getty Images; Anisimov and Dubinksky-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Erixon-Nick Laham/Getty Images)