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NY Rangers land Rick Nash in blockbuster deal

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NY Rangers land Rick Nash in blockbuster deal

From Comcast SportsNet
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The wait to land in a new city and with a new team is over for Rick Nash. Finally, after months of speculation, the high-scoring forward was dealt on Monday. And the destination was not a surprise. He's gone from Blue Jacket to Blueshirt. "There was a lot of limbo for sure," Nash said. "It was a tough period. The good thing now is it's over and I can look forward to next year." Nash was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the New York Rangers for three players and a first-round draft pick. The All-Star, who first went to Columbus management in January and asked to be dealt, heads to Manhattan in exchange for forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov along with defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick in 2013. Nash, at 28, is the oldest of the players in the deal, and was shipped along with a third-round pick and a minor-league defenseman to the Rangers, who can use offense. Nash is a former NHL goal-scoring champion, who has never played for a contender, but could blossom under the bright lights of the big city. "We're happy to have a five-time All-Star on our team and a 40-goal scorer," said New York general manager Glen Sather, who was also happy he didn't have to break up the young core of his team any more than he did. "He will help us immensely." Talks heated up over the weekend between Sather and Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson. And by Monday afternoon, a day before labor talks resume between the NHL and the players' association in Toronto, the long-rumored deal was done. Howson began his comments at a news conference by thanking Nash for his contributions over a nine-year career in Columbus as he became the face of the franchise. Howson conceded that the fans might need some time to take it all in. "This is difficult for people to accept when you trade what is arguably your best player," he said. "We understand the fans (might find it) difficult to understand this or (be) upset with this. But this is something that we did because we think it's going to better our hockey club. We got the right value for Rick. "And it's all about moving forward." For both sides, of course. The deal, after all, gives the Rangers a big, sturdy right wing to add to their core of solid young players and also helps them counter moves made by other Eastern Conference powers this offseason. Nash will join a New York offense that includes captain Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. "They are already one of the top teams in the league. The players they have are pretty impressive," Nash said. "In finding a team, I thought the Rangers were perfect. They are a great fit for my style." The Rangers were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season and just missed out on the Presidents' Trophy for most regular-season points. New York defeated Ottawa and Washington in the playoffs before losing to New Jersey in the conference finals in six games. Nash immediately improves its credentials and gets it -- on paper, at least -- closer to its first Stanley Cup since 1994. "This changes the complexion of our team," Sather said. "He is a world-class player. This kind of quality hockey player doesn't come along very often." The move to New York and a perennial playoff team should be a boon to his career, although it will require a major alteration in his lifestyle. Quiet and almost shy, Nash enjoyed playing golf at nice courses and walking around Columbus virtually unnoticed. That will end when he takes his act to the Big Apple. Nash is in the third year of an eight-year contract he signed in 2010 which has an average annual value of 7.8 million. The total salary cap hit of Dubinsky, Anisimov and Erixon is almost exactly the same. One of the most decorated players in the league, Nash helped his native Canada win the gold medal in the 2010 Olympics. He also has played in four World Championships, leading Canada to gold in 2007 and silver in 2005 and 2008. Plus, he shared the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2004, scoring 41 goals to lead the league along with Ilya Kovalchuk, then of Atlanta, and Calgary's Jarome Iginla. Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said he was pleased by one aspect in particular of the trade. "I'm glad that he's in the East," he said with a laugh. "Obviously, he's a great player, and if you only have to play him one time, that's a good thing." On April 5, 2013, Columbus will play host to Nash and the Rangers for the first time. Nash is coming off a season in which he had 30 goals and 29 assists while playing in all 82 games. He has 289 goals and 258 assists in 674 career NHL games, all with the Blue Jackets. His offensive skill set will be welcomed by a New York team that struggled for offense during the postseason. With one of the NHL's top goaltenders, Henrik Lundqvist, playing in front of a deep, young defense, many people believed the Rangers were just one scorer away from a title last season. Offense was clearly a problem in the six-game loss to the rival Devils, as the Rangers did not score more than three goals in any of those contests. Meanwhile, the acquisition of the three skilled, young players greatly improves the Blue Jackets, who had the worst record in the NHL last season. They believe they made a key step at the trade deadline when they sent forward Jeff Carter to the Los Angeles Kings -- who would go on to win the Stanley Cup with Carter playing a key role -- for young defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick. Johnson, who captained the United States squad in the 2010 Olympics, will likely take over that role in Columbus. They also traded for another young forward, Nick Foligno, in a one-for-one deal with the Senators earlier this summer. The loss of Nash will hurt a Columbus offense which already was starved for goals. But Dubinsky and Anisimov will likely get a shot at playing on the top two lines as will Foligno, Vinny Prospal, Derick Brassard, R.J. Umberger and youngsters Ryan Johansen and Cam Atkinson. The Blue Jackets, who have only been to the postseason once in their 11 seasons, now own three first-round picks in the 2013 draft. Dubinsky, 26, had 10 goals and 24 assists in 77 games a year ago with the Rangers, while the 24-year-old Anisimov had 16 goals and 20 assists in 79 games. Erixon, just 21, a former first-round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2009, only played in 18 games for the Rangers last year in his first year as a professional. Dubinsky missed part of the Rangers' playoff run this year with a foot injury. Howson said both Dubinsky and Erixon were looking forward to a fresh start with a young team in Columbus. Anisimov, as far as anyone knows, still doesn't know he was traded. "Artem is on his honeymoon in Fiji," Howson said. "A number of people left messages for him but we haven't heard from him yet."

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Sunday was the Redskins' best defensive performance since 1991

Sunday was the Redskins' best defensive performance since 1991

The Redskins were dominant defensively on Sunday night during their 27-10 beatdown of the Oakland Raiders. Historically dominant.

The Raiders gained just 128 yards in four quarters of football. That didn’t set a team record or anything but it was the most dominant the Redskins have been against a quality team in at least the last 57 years.

MORE REDSKINS: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE BIG WIN

Since the 1970 merger, the Redskins have held their opponent to fewer than 130 yards in a game five times. Here is a quick look at the other four teams:

1972 Eagles (120 yards)—They finished 2-11-1 and averaged 10.4 points per game, dead last among the 26 teams in the league.

1974 Bears (126 yards)—Under Abe Gibron the bears were 4-10 and had an average of 10.9 points per game, 25th of 26 NFL teams.

1991 Eagles (89 yards)—Thanks to a dominant defense this team finished 10-6. Rich Kotite’s boys were OK offensively (18th of 28 in scoring) but not on the day they played at RFK Stadium.

1991 Broncos (128 yards)—Dan Reeves’ team finished 8-8 on the year but they ranked 22nd of 28 teams in scoring.

Of course, we don’t yet know how the Raiders will finish the season in terms of scoring but it’s likely that they will finish in the top half of the NFL in scoring, perhaps even in the top 10. None of those teams had a quintet on offense the equal to Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Crabtree, and Jared Cook. This was as dominant a performance against a quality offense as the Redskins have had in at least 50 years.

RELATED: SOME AMAZING NUMBERS FROM THE REDSKINS’ WIN

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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MLB Postseason 2017: Updated Wild Card Standings, 7 days remaining

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USA Today Sports

MLB Postseason 2017: Updated Wild Card Standings, 7 days remaining

The 2017 MLB Wild Card race is still undecided after over a 150 games throughout the regular season.

While the Yankees, Twins, and Diamondbacks did what they had to do this past weekend, the Rockies did not. Just like that the National League’s second Wild Card spot is wide open.

Only three postseason slots remain open, the NL Central title and a Wild Card spot on each side. Positioning and even the AL East are still up in the air but seven of the ten teams know they will be playing in October.

Things flipped this weekend. The American League Wild Card race calmed down and is essentially over, but the National League race is just primed for a crazy final week.

RELATED: FULL MLB POSTSEASON UPDATE

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Heading into this past weekend’s match-ups the American League Wild Card was wide open. Ten teams were alive and many were in a position to make a run.

Well the Minnesota Twins (82-74) took care of business with a four game sweep of the Tigers. The bats opened up after an up-and-down month with 39 runs spread across their series. Virtually the Twins have wrapped up the second Wild Card. Their lead over the first team out is 4.5 games over the Los Angeles Angels (77-78).  If not wrapped up, Minnesota has padded their lead heading to a three game series in Cleveland.

With their success, three teams were eliminated in the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, and Oakland Athletics. Now only six teams are in the race.

The New York Yankees (86-69), despite winning only one game against Toronto, clinched their postseason berth. They have fallen back to five games behind the Red Sox in the AL East race, but maintain a 4.5 game edge over the Twins for the first Wild Card.

Salvaging one win against the Astros, the Angels are not done yet. Seven games are left for them with four of them being against the White Sox. The Kansas City Royals (76-79) end their schedule in an awkward fashion. First they play the Yankees on Monday before a three-game series hosting Detroit and then an interleague head-to-head with Arizona. There is a tall task ahead for the Texas Rangers (76-79), facing the Houston Astros when there is no room for error.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 25):

New York Yankees:     +4.5
Minnesota Twins:           ---
Los Angeles Angels:     -4.5
Texas Rangers:             -5.5
Kansas City Royals:      -5.5
Tampa Bay Rays:          -6.0
Seattle Mariners:           -7.0

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Somehow the National League Wild Card race did not tighten up this weekend. It has however set up the race for an incredible finish to the 2017 season.

What we do know now though, essentially the only way for the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals to get into the postseason is through the Wild Card.

A sizable lead has put the Arizona Diamondbacks (90-66) as the only team in the majors that knows their postseason fate. Arizona locked up the top Wild Card spot and will host the National League Wild Card game on Oct. 4.

Their opponent still remains a mystery.

The Colorado Rockies (84-72) were in a good spot but only claimed two of four from the Padres. Now the Rockies host Miami, a long-ball hitting team in a hitters ball park, and have to face the Los Angeles Dodgers to end the season.

Waiting for the end of season slip, the Milwaukee Brewers (82-74) play Cincinnati and the St. Louis Cardinals (81-74). Now almost out of the Central race, the Cardinals first play the Cubs before their season finale against Milwaukee.

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 21):

Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:             ---
Milwaukee Brewers:         -2.0
St. Louis Cardinals:          -2.5

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER READY TO RETURN TO NATS