Much has been made about the possibility of the Rangers acquiring Rick Nash. While a move for that overrated Blue Jacket would be folly, one of his teammates should be targeted: Sammy Pahlsson.
The 34-year-old Pahlsson is a former Selke candidate and a Stanley Cup winner. He has a history with Henrik, having won an Olympic gold medal and an Elitserien title alongside the King. He has played in 81 career playoff games, collecting 28 points - more than he has in any single regular season campaign - showing he steps up in the clutch. As he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and Columbus is going nowhere (ever), Pahlsson should be able to be picked up for a low level draft pick and little more.
On Saturday the last-place Blue Jacketss lost to the Blackhawks 6-1 and Pahlsson was on for just one of the goals against - the last one, when the game was looong over. A poor pass from his teammate left the puck in his skates, where Dave Bolland was able to grab it and send it across to Sami Lepisto for a shot. Not a big deal and hardly his fault. It is impossible to lay any of the blame for the disasterpiece that is the BJs on the Swedish center, who is remarkably just -7 in that mess this season.
Friend of the blog Joakim Norberg has watched Pahlsson since he was a youngster and offered up this scouting report:
"A former MoDo player (and one of my personal all-time favourites) he will be able to play bottom six and can contribute in a top 6 role if necessary when playoff time starts. He's one of the most underrated guys in the game. I still some time now and then think back to his debut in the MoDo jersey back in the mid 90's when he came up through the under 20 system and played with Anders Nilsson and Ragnar Karlsson. They were furious checkers with full face-cage on and mad competitors and were rightly hated by all the other teams. A true hard nosed blue collar player.And winning the Cup is what this is all about. Pahlsson would be a far more experienced improvement on Mitchell (and very likely Boyle as well). He has been to the top of the mountain and surely would do anything at this point of his career to get back. The Rangers should give him that shot.
Pahlsson should be perfect as the center between Fedotenko and Prust. That's the closest thing we'll get to the Moen-Pahlsson-Niedermayer line the Ducks played when they won the cup."