Bruins Acquire Holden
Yesterday the Bruins acquired a defenseman from the New York Rangers, but his name is not Ryan McDonagh. The Bruins traded for Nick Holden from the Rangers in exchange for Rob O’Gara and a third-round pick in the 2018 draft. So far this season he has three goals and nine assists. O’Gara didn’t seem to have a future with the Bruins. He has spent the majority of the season in the AHL and has only appeared in eight games for the Bruins.
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Rangers Fire Sale Begins
Holden is not the number one defenseman Bruins fans wanted. In a letter to fans the Rangers management hinted at a rebuild. They are expected to explore trades for some of their top players including Rick Nash and McDonagh. The Bruins were seen as a landing spot for McDonagh, but the cost would have included talented forward Jake Debrusk. By setting the market at a third-round pick for Holden the Rangers could get more for their other players. While Holden struggled in New York this year there is hope he could rebound in Boston.
How Holden Fits on the Bruins
In New York Holden was used as a top defenseman. In Boston he won’t be asked to fill that role, which could make him more effective. He is expected to be used on the third defensive unit. Last year Holden had a career year finishing with 11 goals and 23 assists.
The Bruins made this move to improve their depth. Last year the Bruins lost Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo to injuries at the end of the season. As a result they had to play Ottawa in the playoffs without two of their top four defensemen. Holden isn’t game changer, but he provides the Bruins with needed depth that they didn’t have last year.
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What Else Will the Bruins Do?
With the NHL trade deadline five days away, teams will be busy. The Bruins have needs but will be reluctant to part with their young players. They shouldn’t be expected to make big moves but small ones to improve depth. In the offseason Sweeney trusted the youth. Now that the kids have arrived, and surpassed expectations Sweeney will be cautious to break up this team’s chemistry. The Bruins sit one point behind the Tampa Bay Lighting for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and won’t sacrifice the future for the present.