Rick Nash is headed to Boston and the Bruins are officially going for the Stanley Cup.
The B’s have officially acquired the veteran winger from the New York Rangers for Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, defensive prospect Ryan Lindgren, a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, and a seventh-round pick in 2019. The Rangers announced the deal on Sunday morning.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Bruins will retain half of Beleskey’s remaining $1.9 million cap hit over the next two seasons. The Rangers will also retain half of the remaining salary for Nash, who will become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
The Bruins announced on Sunday that Nash will join the team in Buffalo and will be eligible for their game against the Sabres.
UPDATE: The Bruins also signed veteran winger Brian Gionta to a one-year, one-way deal worth $700,000. So in addition to adding a top-six winger in Nash, they added depth at that spot as well.
The real score for the Rangers is Lindgren, a solid if unspectacular prospect on the blue line, and the Bruins’ first-round pick. 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.
Nash has 18 goals and 28 points in 60 games for the Rangers this season. However he arrives to Boston on a bit of a cold streak, having scored just three goals in his last 11 games for the rebuilding Rangers. Prior to that, he scored six goals in five games in mid-January.
The hope is that the 33-year-old Nash finds his vintage scoring touch down the stretch for the Bruins. He scored 42 back in 2014-15, and 23 last season. The B’s needed size on the wing at the NHL trade deadline and they certainly got that with the 6-foot-4 Nash. But he needs to play well with Krejci for the deal to be a success.
The big concern with Nash is his history of dropping off in the playoffs. He’s scored just 15 goals and 41 points in 77 career playoff games. He infamously scored just three goals in 25 playoff games for the Rangers in 2014, when they lost to the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. So he will need to undo a lot of past disappointment in order to deliver on this deal.
Still, the deal is a win for anyone who didn’t want Don Sweeney to give up any good young pieces off the NHL roster. Spooner and Beleskey didn’t have a future in Boston. And as for Lindgren, he could very well turn into a top-4 defenseman at the NHL level – but the Bruins still boast a deep prospect pool on the blue line that includes Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon, and Urho Vaakanainen. Not to mention, they already have Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Matt Grzelcyk at the NHL level.
In other words, the Bruins potentially have a big upgrade on the wing for the stretch run and the playoffs – and the future in Boston remains very, very bright.
It’s likely that the Bruins are done making moves now, unless they see something develop for a left-shot defenseman. Stay tuned for anything else that comes out ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.