This is a time of uncertainty for Rick Nash, the valuable Ranger who for the first time in his career is a pending free agent and whose greatest value to the organization might be as a blue-chip rental property to exchange for futures as the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaches.

“I’ve aware of that, I’ve thought about that; for sure I have,” No. 61 told The Post following practice Tuesday. “It’s not something that’s weighing on me, but of course I’m aware of my contract status and whatever implications might come out of that. It’s the first time in my career that I’m playing for a contract.

“I want to be here, that’s my priority, but I also understand the business side of it and that management has to do what they feel is in the best interests of the organization. That thought [about the deadline] definitely creeps in from time to time.”

Nash has scored four goals in the last four games and has recorded eight points (5-3) in the last seven matches. He has been a key factor in driving the Rangers’ six-game winning streak the club will put on the line Wednesday in Chicago on the first of this two-game trip that concludes in Columbus on Friday. There is little doubt he would be among the most sought-after commodities on the market.

But if general manager Jeff Gorton and his crew believe the Rangers have a postseason run in them, it is unlikely Nash would be sacrificed even if he would be free to leave on July 1. There is another option, of course. The Rangers could sign their 32-year-old alternate captain to an extension.

“Staying here is my first choice. Definitely,” Nash said. “If they come to me with an offer, or indicate they’d like to talk about it at some point during the season, I’d be good with it. I’d certainly be willing to talk and sign a new deal if both sides were happy with it.