National Hockey League trade deadline: Rangers' Rick Nash headed to Bruins in blockbuster deal

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Casey Nelson and Boston Bruins forward Rick Nash collide along the boards during the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday Feb. 25 2018 in Buffalo N.Y
Rick Nash a perfect fit for Bruins – but did he cost them too much?

26 February, 2018

As the story percolated last night through reputable sources, the Boston Bruins became the front runners for Rick Nash. It's a bit of a steep price for the Bruins to pay, but the idea is that Nash will represent a marked upgrade over Spooner on Krejci's right wing. Let's take a look at what the trade looks like. Nash was traded to Boston for defenseman Ryan Lindgren, forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, a first-round pick in the 2018 National Hockey League draft, and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 National Hockey League draft. The Rangers agree to retain 50% of Nash's salary. Since the prize for finishing first includes only having to face one of the two remaining top teams in the division, the Bruins are motivated to grab that top spot.

Why the Rangers are making this trade: Well, since general manager Jeff Gorton sent out that letter to season ticket holders, it's been selling season for the Blueshirts.

The Rangers now have two picks in each of the first three rounds of the June draft. "I love being a Ranger, love being in NY".

Boston gets Nash to make a push for the playoffs while getting rid of Spooner who was never able to find a slot in the lineup; Beleskey who had a contract that Boston needed to get rid of, and Lindgren who is in his second season at the University of Minnesota and is considered a pretty good defensive prospect.

Montreal Canadiens’ Phillip Danault celebrates with Tomas Plekanec after scoring an empty-net goal against the New York Rangers during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday Feb. 22 2018 in Montreal. (Graham Hughes  The Canadian Press
Trade grades: Rick Nash to the Bruins

The Bruins now rank third in the Atlantic Division, one point behind Toronto for second place and five points behind Tampa Bay for first place. In his time with the Bruins this season, he did not record a goal, assist or point in 14 games. He earned the Maurice Richard Trophy in 2003-04 after scoring an NHL-best 41 goals. He was on a 53-point pace with Boston and might see an increased role the rest of the way.

Boston was able to carry out both before Monday.

Beleskey has played for Anaheim and Boston. Spooner became expendable to the organization in the deal because of the great play of the third line consisting of Danton Heinen-Riley Nash-David Backes and Spooner doesn't fit as a fourth liner. Beleskey's contract runs out after the 2019 season, so it's unlikely that he'll be part of the Rangers' long-term plans. And we're going to need to bring in a lot of young players and guys that can play in the game today.

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