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Frozen Fantasy: Nash Watch

Janet Eagleson

Janet Eagleson is a four-time winner of the Hockey Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Rick Nash is a stud. A big, fast power stud who won the Rocket Richard trophy in his second season. And a stud who apparently doesn't want to want to hear that dang cannon fire inside Nationwide Arena any more.

Has he given up on Ohio? Or has it given up on him?

One thing is clear - Scott Howson should NOT be trusted with making a deal of this magnitude. Hasn't he done enough damage already?

In fantasy, a deal like this only comes along when someone is gutting his or her keeper roster. Or if his owner is nursing a major hangover. Trust me, I've seen both but the latter was the ugliest. And that guy still hears about it. A lot.

There's no going back.

The seller rarely gets what he or she should. Remember the Joe Thornton deal? Yup, me too. And my buddy still remembers that he gave up the best goalie in a goalie-dominant league for what amounted to a two-bit defender, a bench forward and a bottle of French red.


Pretenders become contenders with the addition of Nash. And I'm pretty sure I don't need to tell you what a contender becomes with Nash patrolling the wing.

But does Columbus become a brand new team?

They do if they manage to get a first-round pick, top prospect plus a combo of Tuukka Rask and Tyler Seguin. Or Jonathan Bernier and Jack Johnson. It's just maybe with Cory Schneider and Cody Hodgson. And not so much with Brandon Dubinsky, Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller and picks.

Then again, who's to say Nash is even interested in any of those cities. He does have a no-movement clause so he's in charge of this situation.

Maybe he'll just wait until the summertime to see who becomes the new general manager in Columbus, work on his chemistry with center Ryan Johansen and get to know his new right winger, Nail Yakupov.

That's a trio that might actually get me to watch a Columbus game.

Now let's take a look at who caught my eye this week. I'll apologize in advance. I've been stay-in-bed sick for a week and I didn't catch nearly as much action as I would have liked. We'll be back to normal next week for sure.

Sean Bergenheim, LW, Florida (3 percent owned) - Bergenheim burst onto our fantasy radar screens during last year's playoffs - where the heck did those nine goals come from any way? But his time in Florida had been a massive disappointment ... that is, until the calendar flipped up February 2012. Bergy is playing his best hockey right now - he has half of his 14 points overall in just eight games this month. And he's throwing his body around like a torpedo on the forecheck - his 19 hits can help in deep formats. I don't like him long term but streaks like this should not be ignored.

Bobby Butler, RW, Ottawa (2 percent owned) - Whoa - Butler got an early Valentine's present when he was plopped onto the Sens' top line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek. It's pretty much the only way to describe his inspired play over his last four outings - try a goal and five assists on his current four-game streak. He has impressive top-end speed and has far more courage driving the net than your average 185-pound six-footer. He needs to show me more for me to monitor him for keeper formats but right now, his single-year value is as good as just about anyone's.

Cedrick Desjardins, G, Colorado (0 percent owned) - Pick this guy up now. Go now; I'll wait. And I'll explain when you get back... So here's how this goes. Desjardins was outstanding in two games for Tampa last season. So much so, in fact, that he might have been their back-up this season had he not surgery in May to repair his right shoulder. The Bolts gave up on him so he signed with Colorado and waited for his chance. Well, it's here. Jean-Sebastian Giguere - he of the bionic groins - got hurt Wednesday so Desjardins gets the call to back up. He has the talent to be more, though, and will show that the first time Varlamov sits out with a broken nail or plantar wart. I got two very easy wins out of Desjardins last year; you could get even more this season.

Marcel Goc, LW/C, Florida (2 percent owned) - Goc is an unspectacular, two-way center who hasn't been fully healthy since his second year in the league (2006-07). It's too bad, really - he skates well and is a nifty little stickhandler. And it's that combination that has quietly netted him 13 points (three goals, 10 helpers) in 17 games since his return from injury at the beginning of January. That's a 60-plus point pace for a guy who has never scored more than 30 in any season. He won't keep it up until season's end. But there's no end in sight right now. Grab him and enjoy this run.

Andy McDonald, LW/C, St. Louis (20 percent owned) - It's really nice to see one of Strathroy's famous sons back in action. You know the story. Undrafted small forward leaps to prominence with 163 points in 164 games in the first two seasons after the lockout. Then comes the injuries - lots and lots of injuries, including multiple concussions. I still like him but he'll never be the guy he was in those two special seasons. But he will bring you top-six type assist and power-play production once he gets his groove back. And that day is coming soon.

Max Talbot, RW/C, Philadelphia (5 percent owned) - The following is not a typo. Max Talbot is hot. This high-grit PK specialist has scored four goals in his last four games and in doing so, has established a new career high for points (16 goals, 27 points in 57 games). I'm just as shocked as you are with this news. And even more shocked to think he might hit the low-20s for goals, all while delivering heavy hits and 50 PIMs. He could actually give you some value in the next week or so.

Jiri Tlusty, LW/C, Carolina (2 percent owned) - Just like Talbot, Tlusty is hot. Not as hot, of course, as those controversial pics he took of himself in junior hockey. But hot nonetheless. He's on the longest point streak of his career - five whole games - and he has three goals, two assists and a plus-8 rating in that span. He's a useful complementary player who recently clicked with Eric Staal and the now-injured Tuomo Ruutu on the top line. Hopefully coach Kirk Muller will keep Tlusty with Staal while the Flying Finn heals - there's some cheap value there if that happens.

Marek Zidlicky, D, Minnesota (13 percent owned) - Breaking news from Lake Wobegon - Zids and Wild coach Mike Yeo aren't getting along and Zids wants out...bad. But he wants to trade-in the harsh bite of a Minnesota winter for the nasty smell of a New Jersey swamp. Yikes. He has already waived his no-trade clause to make it happen. You may think he has lost his mind but it might just be the kind of move that would inject some life into this five-time 40-plus point man. The Jersey system has done wonders for other guys. And his power-play acumen would certainly be welcomed in Jersey, now wouldn't it?

Back to Nash.

Columbus should fix the mistake by the lake and get Jeff Carter out of town instead of trading its captain. Now there was a pout you pretty much knew to expect.

They might even get a decent goalie in return. Wouldn't that be novel...

But if they're going to trade Nash, they should wait until the offseason. The number of suitors will increase because the cap implications won't be nearly as confining. And it gives the Jackets time to actually plan a strategy of attack.

Now that's a novel approach, too...

Until next week.