Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins
The New York Rangers traded winger Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins in changes for forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, the Bruins first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and their seventh-round pick in 2019.
As per Cap Friendly, the Rangers also absorbed $3.9 million of Nash’s $7.8-million cap hit. The Bruins, meanwhile, retain $1.9 million of Beleskey’s $3.8-million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has served notice that his club is a serious contender for the Stanley Cup this season. This move can be seen as a response to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ acquisition of center Derick Brassard from Ottawa on Friday.
Nash, 33, was the most notable forward available in this year’s trade market. Though no longer a dominant scorer, he’s still a very effective offensive winger who also plays a decent defensive game. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer. Given his skills and experience, the 6’4″, 211-pound Nash should be a significant short-term addition to the Bruins lineup. He’ll likely see second-line duty but can also move up if necessary to the top line.
Beleskey, 29, and Spooner, 26, both had their struggles with the Bruins. Beleskey was sent to the minors in December, while Spooner’s inconsistency made him a frequent target of trade chatter over the last two years. Both might benefit from a change of scenery.
It’s Lindgren and the draft picks, however, that were the crucial components of this deal for the Rangers. Lindgren, a 2016 draft pick who plays for the University of Minnesota, has the potential to become a quality NHL blueliner. The Rangers now have nine selections in the 2018 draft, including two picks in each of the first three rounds.
This deal will also create ripples in the NHL trade market. It could prompt the Tampa Bay Lightning to make a big move, perhaps for a defenseman such as Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson or the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh. It could also set the market value for Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane or Montreal Canadiens’ captain Max Pacioretty.