One of the biggest names available before the NHL Trade Deadline is no longer available. Forward Rick Nash has been traded from the New York Rangers to the Boston Bruins in a deal that is not only big for the Bruins and Rangers but could get the ball rolling for the other 29 teams looking for that first major shoe to drop.
The Bruins have acquired Nash in exchange for a package that includes forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, a 2018 first round draft pick, defense prospect Ryan Lindgren and a 2019 seventh-round draft pick.
In order to make the deal work from a cap perspective for the Bruins, the Rangers will retain 50 percent of Nash's remaining salary this season. He is making $7.8 million in the final year of an eight-year, $62.4 million and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. There are many who believe he will contemplate returning to New York after the season comes to a close and for the Bruins, Nash is strictly a rental.
The 33-year-old Nash may not provide the offense he used to (he's a three-time 40-goal scorer, Nash has 434 goals and 365 assists in 1,049 career NHL games) but he'll provide size and skill for the Bruins as they try to go deep into the postseason with a relatively young team. This season, Nash has 18 goals and 10 assists in 60 games.
The Rangers will receive Spooner who has nine goals and 16 assists in 39 games, Beleskey who has gone up and down from the AHL to the NHL and considered a disappointment after scoring 22 goals and coming from Anaheim in 2015-16 and a couple of draft picks which is where the real value in the trade lay. Prospect Ryan Lindgren is a 2016 second-round draft pick currently in his second season at the University of Minnesota.
The Bruins came out of left field late on Saturday and moved quickly to get the deal done. The Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning appeared to be in on Nash but Boston decided that adding the veteran winger was worth the price required to obtain him before another team could jump.
Fans in New York knew a trade like this was coming as the team sent an open letter to fans letting them know the team would be moving in another direction, going younger and looking for speed.