The biggest contract handed out so far (and probably all offseason) was by the New York Rangers to Artemi Panarin. This isn’t the first time the best player of the Columbus Blue Jackets ended up going to the Rangers. This time. They were both 27 years old at the time, but not really similar players. Nash was a pure scorer, and had played in the NHL since he was 18, while Panarin is a gifted scorer, he also distributes and scores more points than Nash ever did (both of Panarin’s seasons in Columbus ended with more points than any of Nash’s).
And then there is the fact that Nash had to come over via trade, which meant that the Rangers gave up 3 players and a first round draft pick to get a player with a decade of NHL tread off of his tires. Panarin has been in the NHL for only 4 years, and comes only for the price of his contract. The Rangers have refined themselves.