The rival New York Rangers’ acquisition of one of the league’s best players for almost nothing on Monday could actually be a positive for the Philadelphia Flyers.
New York got superstar winger Rick Nash from Columbus for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick (the Blue Jackets also gave up a minor-leaguer and a third-round pick).
So how could this be good for the Flyers, who also had chased Nash?
Well, the miniscule haul Columbus got for Nash might have given the Flyers some leverage in negotiations with the Nashville Predators to acquire star defenseman Shea Weber.
If Nashville decides not to match the Flyers’ 14-year offer sheet for Weber by Wednesday night, the teams likely would try to work out a deal to send something other than the required four first-round draft picks to the Predators as compensation.
And considering the Nash deal, if Predators general manager David Poile asks for Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn, then Flyers GM Paul Holmgren should laugh in his face.
If Nash yielded two decent young players, one good-but-not-great prospect and one No. 1 pick, then Weber might be worth a package centered around Matt Read, Jakub Voracek or Andrej Meszaros. Maybe two of those three. But Couturier and Schenn certainly should no longer be in the conversation.
Of course, everything could change if Nashville and Weber work things out together. If the Predators come up with the money to match the offer, and Weber decides he wants to spend the rest of his career there, then it doesn’t matter what the Flyers have.
Assuming the Predators are inclined to deal, though, the Nash deal should help the Flyers.