June 26, 2018 | 2:34pm ET
NASH GENERATING MUCH INTEREST
Rick Nash, left wing
As the free agent market opens in less than a week, the free agents themselves have begun talking to teams about the prospect of signing with them starting as early as Sunday.
With much of the focus being centered around John Tavares, after John Carlson signed an eight-year, $64 million with Washington on Sunday, many of the remaining names have flown under the radar.
Enter Rick Nash.
The 34-year-old is gearing up for his first kick at the can at NHL free agency, and is expected to have many options. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger pointed out that the forward has at least five teams interested in his services.
One of the teams, according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, is Nash's original club, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
A return to Columbus would make sense for both sides, especially with reports coming out late last week that Artemi Panarin, who has one-year left on his deal, is not interested in re-signing with the club.
While Nash would aid any team, there should be a ‘buyer beware’ tag with the player. Nash has lost a step in recent years, as the forward has failed to hit the 40-point plateau in each of the last three seasons.
It is still unclear as to what Nash will be demanding on the open market, but he’s expected to take a significant pay cut from his previous AAV of $7.8 million.