Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins

by | Feb 25, 2018 | News, NHL, Rumors | 57 comments

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. 

The Boston Bruins acquired winger Rick Nash from the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images)

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. 



  1. Seems ok of a trade to me. You knew a first was coming back, and a late one at that.

    The other pieces are kinda ‘meh’ to me. Decent retention on 2 players, seems a good trade for both sides.

  2. I’ve seen some B’s fans griping but I actually think this is a solid deal.

    If the deal was Nash for Spooner, Lindgren and a 2nd, that would seem close to about right..but the value of dumping the awful Beleksy contract more than makes it worth including the 1st.

    Getting that contract (almost) off their books and freeing up that roster spot is a big win for Boston.

    Meanwhile, with the rebuild they’ve undertaken, the Rangers can easily take a bad contract to get a better return.

    Good deal.

    • Well even if they retain salary its probably less than if they did a buyout. Rangers retaining Nash’s salary is only for this year then he is UFA anyways. Shame that Belesky had his career dip down so badly. Maybe Rangers will call him up where he can produce enough to be traded or play again. SEems the key for Rangers is to sign the D-man from college. If he pans out 3-5 years down the road along w/ who they draft in 1st round its good return. If those things don’t happen they might end up losing having Spooner/Belesky until those contracts are off books. Lots depends how they do in playoffs if general view will be win/loss too.

  3. Shame NYR had to take back Beleksey…when they are trying to free cap space NOT to lose Mac….. this surely signs MacTrucks paperwork out of NYR with now both Smith’s and Beleksey’s horrendous contracts…..

    so if anyone wants Mac they need to take Beleksey and Smith lol like OTT says you need to take Ryan if you want karlsson lol

    • Does this mean there are 1 million new Smith AND Beleskey trade ideas on the way?

      • Pretty sure we did the same with Rob Scuderi…

    • 1.9 isn’t crippling. And Beleskey should git some nhl ice time again as a last chance. If he can be even a halfway decent bottom six option then 1.9 is fine. If not it won’t kill rangers

      • 1.9 IF he plays in the AHL and 3.8 if he plays in the NHL.


        no salary was retained by BOS.

        Deee…. there willNOT be a million trade proposals….I will to torture you all with my sadness even that much. But call VEGAS and offer Smith & Beleksey for Garrison and & 7th

      • Chrisms…I stand corrected….tsn did not have it but another tweet did BOS does retain 50%…..that I can deal with. It means we know Beleksey slots #4LW so Vesey can go up a line with Grabner gone.

    • Beleksey better than who we been dressing on the 4th line? His salary is 50% for the Rangers-maybe a playoff team needs depth? Maybe Tampa takes Staal

      • Tampa is not taking Staal. But in this cynical world we live in, It’s nice to see your optimism!

    • NYR only took 1.9 in salary if they bury him in the minors at some point his cap hit is less than a mil.

    • No reason or dire need to trade any of Smith , Staal or Beleskey.
      These guys all expire before their contracts become a problem

  4. Good move all around

  5. I guess “a 2nd and bag of pucks for Nash” is off the table?

    Very nice haul for NY. And Beleskey is having 50% retained.
    I don’t see Spooner in the long term plan. I think he gets flipped by tomorrow.

    • Beauty trade eh NYR4life

      Probably between the bag of pucks and loaded team bus right? Hahaha

    • I think rangers also got a bag of pucks in the deal… with 50% vulcanized rubber retained.

      • I don’t see Beleskey as a problem. Adding him at 50% maximized the deal. This is a better return than Brassard landed Ottawa. And Brassard had a year left on his deal.
        Absolutely zero complaints here.

        And as I said above, I doubt Spooner is a Ranger by Tuesday, possibly October…. but this was a 1st, Lindgren was a 2nd and a 7th plus whatever Spooner returns for an UFA?

      • After seeking BOS retain 50%…not half bad at all….

        Nyr4Life…you do not see Spooner as the 3rd or 4th line center instead of Desh for the remainder of the season??

        Perhaps you are right and Spooner is flipped with Mac for something….

        glad we got another D prospect….hopefully we find 2 young studs and a stud center in this years draft.

      • you guys are probably right……flip Spooner and Beleskey to some playoff teams needing depth.

        Spooner to CMB or STL?

        Beleskey to VGS?

        both to AZ for DOMI? I kid I kid.

      • I see the return about even with the brassard deal. The 1sts we won’t know which is better till after playoffs. Gustafson is a better prospect than Lindgren. Cole could be flipped for a second. Spooner could be flipped for a second. Rangers got a 7th pens got a third but gave up a 4th. Seems about the same to me.

      • I doubt Spooner slots in at center, then again I have doubts he’ll ever get a Ranger jersey to wear. He’s spent most of his time at wing.

        As far as adding him to a deal with Mcdonagh, I don’t think that happens, and I don’t think it would be a good idea to add anything to that deal. It just complicates it and imo deflates the value of Mcdonagh.
        Deal him on his own, retain 50% if need be to maximize his return, and don’t make it complicated.

        If I’m Gorton, the only thing I want the other GM thinking about is Mcdonagh, and what they have to give up to grab him.
        I don’t want them thinking of another contract, how the money works, where another player fits going forward, his pending RFA, etc. Keep it simple stupid! ( Gorton)
        This is not a deal the can afford to botch at all.

        I would have to imagine Zuccarello or Mcdonagh are next. Unless they went through all that trouble writing a letter to state the obvious. That UFA’s will be traded?

      • My only thing with the Pittsburgh tradeis the erratic development of goaltenders. I’m a broken record here, but at 19, you really don’t have any idea what you have in a goaltender.

        Yesterday I posted some 1st round (over the last decade ) guys that most probably never heard of, vs guys like Hasek (10th round) and Lundqvist (7th round).

        You just never can gauge these guys at that age. It’s almost like you don’t know, until you know. Haha

      • Fair enough but Gustavsson ceiling predicted higher than Lindgren. Nobody does know but brassard vs nash deals look about the same to me. Course I would be remiss if I didn’t say pens got the better player at a more important position for about the same cost. But hey. That’s my penrogitive

      • Without question Pittsburgh got the better deal on the receiving end player Vs player. And a year more on Brassards deal. I don’t think Ottawa did themselves any favors in that deal.

        The return for Nash vs Brassard should even be close in conversation imo.

        I’ve said all along, Brassard to Pittsburgh, Mcdonagh or Karlsson to Tampa or Boston could easily tip the balance in the east.

      • *** shouldn’t be close*** not should!

      • NYr4life: Two points that shouldn’t be discounted when comparing the Brassard and Nash trades. First, the Rangers retained half of Nash’s remaining salary this year and, more importantly, half of Beleskey’s terrible contract over the next two years. Ottawa didn’t retain any of Brassard’s deal. That is big in the salary cap era.

        Second, now that I’ve done some research, Gustavsson is a much better prospect than Lindgren. Lindgren may be a 4-6 defenseman, but that’s no guarantee and he’s highly unlikely to be more than that. Gustavsson is a top 3 NHL wide goalie prospect two years after being drafted. I agree that goalies are harder to project, but it is more of a certainty at 20 years old vs. 18 with the Campbell and Storr comparison.

        If Ottawa can get a 2nd round pick and maybe a little more for Cole, I think Ottawa did ok in the trade given they held no salary. The Rangers did very well in the Nash trade by using their very deep pockets. They should be able to flip Spooner for at least a 2nd round pick as well if they don’t want to sign him long term.

      • Van,
        I can’t stress enough how erratic goaltending prospects are. And Ottawa didn’t retain salary on Brassard, but Vegas did.

        It’s not only the player involved, but also what Brassard does to the balacnce in the east. Brassard should have fetched much more than he did imo. But we really won’t know for 3-5 years .

        Today, Ottawa not only lost that deal, they may have just put Pittsburgh in the drivers seat in the east. Which imo should have been a deal Pittsburgh overpaid grossly. Not underpaid.

        The biggest problem I see with Pittsburgh is their defense. If Tampa, or Boston find a way to add Karlsson or Mcdonagh,?i see the power balance swinging their way.

        Imo, Karlsson isn’t going anywhere by tomorrow . And I’m not sure Mcdonagh does either.

        Then again, who knows.

      • NYR4life
        Senators asking price for Brassard – High prospect, #1 Draft pick, and something else. Senators clearly wanted Gustavsson!!! Jim Rutherford was focused trading for Brassard. Imagine a line with Brassard and Kessel. Golden Knights were motivated keeping Brassard out of their conference. Will the Penguins acquire another D-man??

    • Agree Nyr4life, I think your guys won this deal.
      Spooner is a better offensive player than Nash today and is great n the PP. He has also improved his 200′ game this season, especially with regards to ow he battles and willingness to get hit to make a play, although Nash is still better in that regard.
      I think this is about getting a better fit with Krecji on the 2nd line for Boston. They both like to carry the puck and dish, so they don’t really compliment each other.
      I think it is an over pay, not because Nash isn’t good, he is an upgrade over Spooner, but the upside over Spooner isn’t huge.
      A first plus Lindgren is too much even with taking a portion of Belesky.
      Lindgren was going to get blocked by other young D in the system, so I get that, but that shouldn’t mean you under value him. He can play.
      Like Gorton yet?

      • NYR 2 BOS 0, rangers easily won both trades. Holden can’t make the bruins lineup. These were 2 bad trades by Boston.
        This deal was on the plates last night, other teams looked and said, oh Boston you can have him if you want him that badly. Poor trade absolutely Fing Dumb and to top it off, Nash will be in a Rangers uni in October, which they can have.

    • Spooner reminds me of a player Sharks traded for in their lost Cup run… So maybe Spooner ends up in SJ for Joel Ward ;). There probably enough teams that can ship him to even if have to retain part of his salary. I think he is like a 2.8M cap hit so they can retain 1.4 its a cheap 3rd/4th liner w/ exp. Maybe Boston could get Kelly back he looked good in Olympics ;). I just remember him when he broke his leg blocking a shot in playoffs ;).

      • I can’t see Ny taking Ward back. That wouldn’t make a lot of sense for a rebuilding team. He’s a pending UFA, 37, and on IR at the moment.

        I see Spooner flipped for a pick or younger prospect. Trading him for Ward is as good as just giving him away while doing SJ a solid.

      • That didn’t happen.
        Greg Campbell busted one though.

  6. Now if the Kings can trade Forbort or Martinez to obtain Max from MOntreal that would be nice ;). I think they would be more likely to move Pearson than Tyler. Since Pearson has sorta gone down a bit since it looked like he would produce a bit more… Though much of that is from CArter being hurt too…

    Bruins I think panicked a bit seeing Penguins get Brassard. For a guy that know had to trade it seems Rangers got a bigger return than most thought. So I wonder if they could have got a better player though I don’t Montreal would trade them Max or other teams would deal w/ them. Mostly for rivalry reasons, Devils got Grabner so teams made some moves… Boston had lost like that game 6-0 or 1 or whatever to Vancouver not that long ago. So I think they felt they needed another scoring winger or so.

    Ditching a few Ryan’s in the package along w/ Belesky its not so bad. At first I figured Boston won the trade. Figure their 1st rounder will probably be 20th or 30th if not 31st :). Long as Rangers can sign the college D-man who was a 2nd round pick it will help tilt towards them. Funny that had mentioned Spooner who ended up part of the deal. Not having to give up any key starters or players they sure could keep or get under contract helped Boston. Least its not going to be boring now until trade deadline.

    I think if Kings flip 1st round bust Forbort or Martinez they could probably land Max. Maybe they would have to toss in a 1st round pick that could be conditional for this year or next… So if they in top 10 this year it will be the 2019 1st rounder. I think Kings gave up making playoffs when they traded Darcy who was their best goalie for trash. Unless they flip Tobias or whatever in a deal for Max which would make too much sense ;). Either way that deal is more akin to Matt Frattin 2.0 than something I think will be positive for Kings getting Tobias in first place. Though Germany nearly won gold if not for choking it away :). Funny they were on PP, if guy lost his helmet just take the penalty w/ less than a minute left. IF games goes into OT its probably going to be a win for Russia so should have went for broke ;).

    If I was a Rangers fan I’d be happy w/ my return for Nash if they can sign Ryan from College. Also Grabner to a lesser degree though they seemed to get much more for Rick Nash. Though probably not dancing any gigs having to take Spooner/Belesky in it ;).

    • Striker?

      • LOL, same thought.

  7. One thing you guys are missing Beleskey can’t play in this league. One hit wonder.

    Rangers are stuck with that contract and I am sure a pinch point for Boston in making the deal. I guess both parties are happy.

    • I don’t think NY hoped to strike Gold with Beleskey. I think everyone here and both GMs understand what he is. This isn’t a move to build around the guy, this is a move to maximize value for a rebuilding team, and to clear cap space on the other side.

      Unless NY believes they can literally rebuild overnight, then this was a terrible deal! Personally, I think they have a more realistic vision going forward.

      • I don’t think anyone here was missing that. At least not that I’m reading?

      • Agreed…..and at $1.9M per…might not be as hard to flip to a contender with cap space for bottom 6 depth.

      • Belesky no big deal. With all the young players coming up they added ahl depth. 1.9 for 2 years isn’t that bad. As far as Spooner, I disagree they flip him. Was a pretty talented guy in minors and just didn’t seem to fit Boston style. Could flourish with AV. Just turned 26 so fits core group of players hitting prime. More a chance Desharnais gets moved by tomorrow’s deadline. Give Spooner a chance. Seems odd Zuc was in all rumors but unlike others, he’s been in lineup every night.

  8. As a Bruins fan it seems pretty fair.
    Depends on Nash’s play in the playoffs and if he resigned for a decent price. Spooner is decent but not a top 6 and always has issues signing as a RFA. Don’t think Boston was keeping him next year. First rounder is really low almost a second. Lindgren may never crack the roster with all the prospects in front of him. Moving Beleskey is a plus and had to cost something to get rid of his salary.
    So really a lot to see in the future to see if it was a good deal for either team.

  9. Couple of things here – Spooner is an Ottawa guy – maybe he goes home to the Sens – and Clearly the Bruins think Rick Nash will help put them over the top. This trade will be judged by Nash’s performance in the playoffs. I expect him to be really good for Boston – he’s been on the big stage plenty of times and he will be super-motivated. If they stay healthy, Boston will be tough to beat.

    • Bergeron left the game last night in a walking boot. Fngers crossed.

    • Nash is a rental. Rangers weren’t and aren’t going to resign him!!! This was a big haul for a guy they would’ve let go at end of season anyways. No matter what he does in playoffs, he’s at end of career. On Rangers side, besides maybe Spooner getting on track, we’ll have to wait a few years to see how other assets pan out

  10. TSN reporting Tomas Plekanec to Toronto. Ryan McDonagh next?

    • I am unsure if this is bc Matthews will be out and they do not want to lose ground going into the playoffs OR they are not as confident in Bozak & Moore to shore up the defensive center positions.

      Cost them mainly a 2nd rd pick…. not too shabby as Pleks can still contribute ideally when not the #1C


      • It’s Dominic Moore who will be replaced by Plekanec. Defensive zone faceoffs with Bozak and Plekanec a strong point now.

  11. One other thing
    Does Boston have more cap room to add another player. If so this deal helps even more. Seems Boston is going for it. So might as well move another prospect or pick for another veteran forward Maroon, Vanek or someone else. Don’t think Gionta or Iginla are a upgrade over current roster players and would pass on those guys.

  12. ” Start the car, start the car”…, for my American friends…, this is a reference to an IKEA commercial shown here… woman runs out of store bags in hand telling husband to start the car as she believed the deals she just got were actual mistakes/steals and wanted to get out B4 IKEA realized…. 5 for one deal ….. winner by a landslide … NYR… NASH will definitely help Boston a great deal ..,. Price to pay too high … Boston was already almost guaranteed to get to Div finals …. so 4 gates …. I don’t think the net trade of roster players puts them past TB though…. on another note…. queue the repeater …. ANYBODY …. please please please take Hunwick …. on ice last night for 4 GA … and direct cause of 3 of them … even Giant Oleksiak can’t help out with Hunwick’s mistakes …. my Leafs just go Pleck …… don’t like that trade either

  13. is Spooner fast enough to play alongside McDavid?? Would EDM be interested?

    • At his best ; Spooner fits in with McD … maybe a fit

  14. I’ve eard Brian Gionta just signed a 700K contract with the Bruins

  15. Boston signed Gionta, who’s next Iginla?

    • Jagr?

      • I saw a tweet basically saying that after trading for Nash and signing Gionta, all the Bruins have to do is sign Iginla and they will be in great shape to compete for the 2009 Stanley Cup…haha.

        Maybe bring Terry O’Reilly back?