Boston Bruins: Breaking down the Rick Nash trade

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 06: Rick Nash /

The Boston Bruins made a splash ahead of the NHL trade deadline with the acquisition of forward Rick Nash from the New York Rangers.

It didn’t take long for the Boston Bruins to make a move this trade deadline. With deadline day coming Monday afternoon, the Bruins went out and got the second line forward they needed for a deep playoff run.

The man of interest:  New York Rangers forward Rick Nash.

In the deal,the Bruins sent Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey (50 percent retained), Ryan Lindgren, a 2018 first round pick, and a 2019 7th round selection in exchange for Nash (50 percent retained).

At first glance, the deal may appear lopsided in the Rangers favor, but it’s not as bad as it looks.

The details

When we break down the trade more, we get a better look at what pieces are going on the move.

Ryan Spooner, 26, has played center and wing for the Boston Bruins, putting up 9 goals and 16 assists in 39 games. Spooner was a player who struggled to find his place in the lineup.  He also lacked consistency in production.   Spooner has been on the trade block for some time now, and his movement comes as no surprise.

Matt Beleskey, 29, is strictly involved in the deal for cap reasons alone. Beleskey has spent most of the season in Providence and carries a heavy salary with him. He’s another player, who like Spooner, has failed to contribute consistently. The Boston Bruins will retain 50 percent of his cap hit.

Now we step into the unpredictable section.

Ryan Lindgren, 20, was a second-round selection by the Bruins in 2016. He is a left-handed defensive prospect from the University of Minnesota with top 4 defensive potential. Now Lindgren is an above average prospect, but the Bruins are currently loaded with defensive prospects.  With that being said, it would take some time before Lindgren got his chance at the pro level.

Arguably the most valuable piece of the deal, however, would be the 2018 first-round selection. While this could hurt the Bruins future, the pick will likely be a late-round selection.  In my opinion, this is the only true loss of the trade.

The seventh-round selection was likely just a throw-in and should have no major effects. In return for the trade, the Rangers will eat half of Nash’s 7.9 million dollar contract.

More from Boston Bruins

The fit

Rick Nash, 33, plays as a winger and looks to slide into Ryan Spooner’s spot to play on the second line manned by Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci. Nash has 18 goals and 10 assists through 60 games on the year.

While this may look disappointing, Nash played one of the league’s worst squads in the New York Rangers, and his opportunities have been few and far between. On the Boston Bruins, I think he’s almost a perfect fit for Bruce Cassidy’s system. His sniping abilities (he once scored 41 goals in a season!) paired up with the playmaking of David Krejci, gives me shivers just thinking about it.

Yes, I know this isn’t 2008 Rick Nash, and he’s not the player he once was, but he’s still a viable second line forward who can really help on a team that needs sniping forwards for a deep push. Nash also plays a great 200-foot game and never gives up on the play. He’s no Patrice Bergeron on defense, but he plays hard and has above average stick work. The Bruins have a game later today at 5 in Buffalo and Nash is available to play.

His debut may be sooner than you think.


I think this will turn out to be a solid trade for the Black and Gold.

The Boston Bruins have 23 games left to play and currently sit 3rd in the East.  Picking up Nash has clearly shown that they are all-in.

While some say this could disrupt the chemistry of the squad, I think Rick Nash will fit in well with the team and his chemistry with his linemates will not be an issue. I’m not sure if he will get 2nd line power play unit time yet, but he could find his way onto the power play sometime.

Next: The 5 greatest Boston Bruins centers of all time

Don Sweeney did give up a haul to get his man, but Nash will make it up to Boston Bruins fans and help his team make a strong bid for the Stanley Cup.