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The Boston Bruins land Rick Nash as they gear up for a cup run, but what does this trade really mean for both them and the Rangers?
By: Chris Yackel
Rick Nash has been traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Ryan Spooner, prospect defenseman Ryan Lindgren, Matt Beleskey, Boston’s 2018 1st round draft pick and Boston’s 2019 7th round pick. In order to make this deal cap compliant, the Rangers will retain 50 percent of Nash’s $7.8-million-dollar cap hit that expires at season’s end. Meanwhile, the Bruins will retain 50 percent Beleskey’s cap hit as well through the duration of his contract which runs through the 2020-21 season. Let’s break down this trade from both team’s perspectives.
Boston Bruins Perspective
Nash has been on the trade block for awhile and when the Rangers made it clear their intentions to sell this trade deadline, Nash’s days as a Ranger were indeed numbered. He will give the Bruins who are already one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference an even better shot of coming out of the East and making it to the Stanley Cup Final.
As of Sunday morning, the Bruins are third in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division with 82 points, but have games in hand on everyone as they have played the least amount in the entire league. The question with Nash is will he produce when it matters most and that is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Only time will tell, but for Boston they are definitely going all in by making this move. For now, though this looks like a great deal for the Bruins.
New York Rangers Perspective
From a Rangers perspective this deal is a win for them. First, they get a first round pick. Even though it will be a later first round pick, if the Bruins go far it still helps the Rangers in their rebuild to have two first round picks in back to back years. Who knows, it may even be three by the time its draft weekend in June. The next piece is defensemen Ryan Lindgren, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota who was a 2nd round pick for the Bruins in 2016. He does not have a ton of offensive potential with only 2 goals and 7 points in 33 games with the Golden Gophers, but he is extremely good in his own zone, tough, physical and a leader. He’s a guy that if he makes it to the NHL will wear a letter on his sweater one day.
The next piece of this deal involves Ryan Spooner. He is a 26-year-old that has a ton of skill, but hasn’t been the top prospect that Boston thought he would be. He has had a career high 49 points in the 2015-16 season and in 39 games this year had 9 goals and 16 assists for 25 points. Spooner will be a restricted free agent this summer so it will be interesting to see what the Rangers do with him long term, but he is the type of player that Jeff Gorton is trying to bring in. Jeff Gorton is trying to rebuild this team with guys that are young, fast and have skill. Spooner fits that bill.
Now the 7th round pick in 2019 is a wash, so let’s forget about that (when this 7th round pick turns into the next Henrik Zetterberg or Henrik Lundqvist I will regret this article) lets talk about the final piece of this deal Matt Beleskey. Beleskey has been an overall disappointment for the Bruins since signing his big free agent contract in the 2015 off-season. He has only played 14 games with the Bruins this year and has played a majority of his season in AHL Providence. He will probably be spending his time with the Rangers in the AHL in Hartford or at best in a bottom six role with the big club.
I think this trade was great for both sides. The Bruins get what they need now and that is more scoring depth for the stretch run and into the playoffs and the Rangers get what they need too. They get to continue their rebuild by acquiring picks, a prospect and two roster players. One who fits right into the Rangers youth movement in Ryan Spooner. Only time will tell who ultimately won this trade, but for now both teams are big winners in this deal.
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