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Dreger: Sense of urgency for contenders after Wild signings

Darren Dreger
7/4/2012 6:56:02 PM
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A $198 million commitment to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter doesn't necessarily shift position of power in the West, but, there is a distinct sense of urgency among some of the contenders to respond to the Minnesota Wild's enormously bold offseason investment.

Offensively, Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan are the two biggest trade pieces available.

While the New York Rangers have been widely considered the frontrunners for Nash, the fact that both the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins failed to land Parise means these two powerhouse teams will now focus on Columbus and perhaps, engage in a bidding war that Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson predicted would happen once Zach Parise made his move.

Philadelphia and San Jose are also on Nash's trade list, while the Carolina Hurricanes have campaigned for days, but have yet to earn an official invite to the party.

There is no question the Red Wings would love to add Nash, however, Detroit will have to grossly overpay for Columbus to live with the reality of facing its former superstar captain multiple times a season for the next decade.

It's easy to visualize Nash on either Crosby or Malkin's wing, and the Penguins are definitely brainstorming to see how they can make it work, but, the Pens may have trouble parting with the collection of assets Howson is sure to demand.

With Suter and Parise out of the way, Nash and Ryan of Columbus and Anaheim have moved from a sidebar to the main story with the Vancouver Canucks and those in the hunt for Roberto Luongo mixed in for what could and should be a fascinating extension to what has been anything but an "off"season.

Darren Dreger

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