The NHL playoffs are into the Stanley Cup and that means trade rumors for the other teams in the league and already some big names are flying around, as TSN and Sportsnet have reports that players like Rick Nash and Evgeni Malkin could get shopped around by the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins after the disappointing postseason runs by both teams this year.
According to Pro Hockey Talk, reports from TSN/NBC insider Bob McKenzie and Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman have two of the biggest stars in the league on the trade block this offseason. McKenzie writes that he "believes" that the Rangers will shop Rick Nash this offseason, as he has not been the game changing player that they need. Nash has been able to score in the regular season, but during the playoffs he has mostly been absent as a score, which is exactly what the Rangers have needed from him the past few years.
There have already been reports about Malkin getting traded, as Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported last week that Malkin may be "unsatisfied" with the Penguins and could ask for a trade. The team also is possibly going up for sale and moving Malkin could be one move the team makes after the franchise is sold. The report says that a Malkin likely will not happen with the team for now, but that sources have said that he would "welcome a change of scenery" from Pittsburgh.
Malkin is one of the best scorers in the league and he comes in after putting up 28 goals and 70 points last season. Malkin scored 23 goals the season before and in 2011 he had 50 goals, but he has not been up to that in recent years. The team could consider moving Malkin if he is unhappy and they likely could get a nice package and still have Sidney Crosby as their main centerpiece.
The Nash trade talk is not coming from that same place, as Nash has not expressed any unhappiness at being in New York. The Rangers may feel moving Nash is their best move, as his cap space could open things up for the team as they try and keep Derek Stepan and other key players. Chris Kreider has started to emerge and in the future they will have to deal with him and players like Vesper Fast and Kevin Hayes are also part of the future. The New York Post reported that Glen Sather may step down as GM and just focus on being team president and that could have an effect on what the team does with Nash.
The Rangers had a very tough run at the end in the playoffs, as they looked like Stanley Cup locks coming in, but they faltered with scoring. Nash had over 40 goals this year, but he has not come through in the playoffs for the team and while the Rangers really like Nash, it could be time to move on. The team was shutout in Game 7 at home and that could be the last straw for the front office, as the loss to the Lightning was bitterly disappointing.