Don Sweeney has struck again. After a compelling back-and-forth playoff-type atmosphere at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto where the Bruins came up just short 4-3 to the Leafs, Boston has swung a deal to land veteran All-Star winger Rick Nash from the New York Rangers in exchange for F Ryan Spooner, F Matt Beleskey, young defenseman Ryan Lindgren and a 2018 first round pick as well as a 2019 seventh-rounder.
The Bruins have needed to trade for a legit top six forward all along if they were going to make a serious cup run this year, now they have themselves one to play alongside David Krejci. New York retains half of Nash’s salary and also picks up half of Beleskey’s salary who had since been rendered useless with the 2017-18 Bruins and was skating down in Providence. Ryan Spooner was in the middle of the best campaign of his career flourishing in Bruce Cassidy‘s system, a perfect time to sell high on his value.
Spooner has long been floated in trade rumors for Boston and now he will get the chance to play with a rebuilding Rangers squad. Spooner had nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in 39 games with Boston this season. The forward appeared in 253 career NHL games with Boston and has recorded 41 goals and 101 assists for 142 points during his career for the black and gold.
Outside of Spooner, whom Sweeney sold high on, Boston didn’t really have to part with anything major as far as their top NHL caliber prospects in the deal. Lindgren is a solid prospect for the University of Minnesota, but he’s not one of their top guys such as DeBrusk, Heinen, Donato or Carlo all of whom the Bruins hold on to while still landing a scoring wing for their second unit. They move half of Beleskey’s money off the books and land a veteran poised to contribute down the stretch, count me in!
The six-time All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold medalist for Team Canada Rick Nash, has notched 18 goals and 10 assists for a bad New York team this year in 60 games played and his best season in the big apple came during the 2014-15 season where he scored 42 goals on a 69 point season. Nash has skated in 1,049 career NHL games with New York and Columbus, totaling 434 goals (5th among active players) and 365 assists for 799 points. He has also appeared in 77 career postseason games, recording 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points.
That last line is what it’s all about. The postseason. That’s why Don Sweeney made this move to go get a legitimate winger to play alongside of Krejci, the playoffs. This team has a cup run in them this year, and now they have two separate units that can contribute and put the puck in the back of the net at will. The 33-year-old will log time on their power play unit and will provide an upgrade there as well.
The 33-year-old Rick Nash will join the team and Buffalo and will be available to play tonight against the Sabres for a 5 pm ET puck drop. The Don strikes again, and the Bruins just put the rest of the league on notice.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank