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Report: Rick Nash could be on his way out of New York

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Three

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Rick Nash #61 of the New York Rangers looks on during a face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Rick Nash could be on his way out of New York, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. On Saturday, Friedman brought up the possibility during his Headlines segment.

“He has a 12-team list that he can be dealt to and there seems to be a little bit of smoke to this one,” explained Friedman. “I think they’ve been asked. I think they’d be willing to do it under the right circumstances.

“However, there’s a couple things here. No. 1, he’s got a $7.8 million cap hit for two more seasons — how would that work? And No. 2 , while he struggled this year the Rangers really defended him. They felt that Nash played hurt and that affected his totals and I think they do look at it and say if he’s healthy next year he could be much more effective. But he’s going to be a name and the Rangers are going to be a team to watch.”

The 31-year-old had 15 goals and 36 points in 60 games during the 2015-16 season. The Rangers forward missed two games in November because of a back injury and 20 games from January to March because of a knee injury. Despite his dipping production, Nash is just one year removed from a 42-goal season.

As Friedman mentioned, it won’t be easy to find a team that can swallow a $7.8 million cap hit, especially because Nash can block a trade to 18 of the league’s 30 teams. The Rangers may have to absorb some of the cap hit remaining on his contract like the Leafs did with Phil Kessel.

If the Rangers are able to unload Nash, does that put them in the conversation for Steven Stamkos?