With the Rangers bowing out of the Rick Nash sweepstakes on Sunday night, it was a pretty underwhelming trade deadline day for New York.
The Eastern Conference-leading Blueshirts made only one minor move on the last day of transactions, acquiring hulking 6-foot-8, 258-pound defenseman John Scott from Chicago in exchange for a 2012 fifth-round draft pick.
As reported Sunday, the Rangers pulled out of the running for Nash on the eve of the deadline because the asking price for the coveted captain was too high. And although the team did keep in communication with Columbus Monday, it is believed Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson would not budge from his demands.
Howson admitted as much while addressing reporters in Columbus after the deadline.
"The price was high, and I don't apologize for that," Howson said. "It had to be high."
The Rangers were not the only team with sticker shock.
Despite a clear statement from Nash’s agent Joe Resnick on Saturday that his client wanted a deal done before the deadline, the former first overall draft pick will stay put with last-place Columbus.
It now appears likely that Nash will be shopped again leading up to the draft this June by Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson. However, Resnick told TSN Saturday that the list of teams to which Nash would waive his no-movement clause and accept a trade would not change regardless of the timing.
The Rangers were one of a few teams on Nash’s approved list.
The potential acquisition of Nash was a polarizing one for fans and media. Some feared that adding Nash at the cost of valuable young assets could disrupt team chemistry. Others felt it could be the piece that could turn the Rangers into a Stanley Cup favorite.
Brandon Dubinsky, whose name surfaced in recent weeks as a potential trading chip to acquire Nash, said he didn't think he’d be dealt during the team’s morning skate at Madison Square Garden Monday.
“I know this team wants me. I know how much I wanna be here. I’m pretty confident that at 3:01 p.m. Eastern Standard Time that I’ll be a New York Ranger,” Dubinsky said Monday morning, about 4.5 hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline.
Coach John Tortorella also expressed confidence in his team as currently comprised.
“I like our team,” Tortorella said.
--Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report