Early Sunday morning the Bruins took part in the trade deadline festivities by acquiring forward Rick Nash. In return, the B’s sent Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey to New York along with prospect Ryan Lindgren, a 2018 first round pick, and a 2019 seventh. It’s a gamble by Sweeney seeing that he’s giving away some future assets. However, Nash is a big-name player who should help down the stretch.
The veteran winger was taken first overall back in 2002 by Columbus and remained there for nine years. Unfortunately for Nash, he was dragged into a lengthy rebuilding process and didn’t see the playoffs until his sixth season. But even despite being on a team consistently in the NHL’s basement, Nash managed to put up big numbers. He became the face of the franchise and was eventually named team captain. In 2008, Nash scored what many called the “goal of the year”, and was nominated for “Play of the Year” at the ESPY’s.
In the 2012 offseason Nash was part of a blockbuster deal that sent him and Steven Delisle to New York in exchange for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and Tim Erixon. Nash began his career as a Ranger with one of his best seasons to date, tallying 42 points through 44 games in the year of the lockout. Things were looking good for both Nash and the Rangers, but the 2013-14 season saw a sharp decline. He put up 39 points through 65 games and was only good for ten points during their Stanley Cup run. Nash rebounded the following year by notching 42 goals and 69 points, but once again struggled for the next two seasons. As for this season, Nash currently has a stat-line of 18-10-28 through 61 games.
Impact for the Bruins
There’s no doubt that Nash is an elite goal scorer with incredible hands, but there are some concerns. Over the last few years he’s been a streaky scorer in both the regular season and playoffs. He was pretty steady in Columbus but his point totals varied quite a bit throughout his time in New York. The fact that he may be a rental leaves room for concern. It’s unclear how long he’ll be a Bruin, so one bad stretch of games could define his legacy in Boston.
This would essentially leave the Bruins with nothing out of the trade, seeing that Nash is all they acquired. This would be a tough pill to swallow considering the B’s gave up some promising young talent. Even with the Rangers retaining half of his salary, this was the only way the trade was going to work under the salary cap. Giving up key future assets is a risky move for the entire franchise. However, we’ve all seen what Rick Nash is capable of when he’s hot. His quick hands and lethal shot have been on display his entire career, but he’s also a big body who can skate. He stands at 6’4-219lbs and will add to the Bruins physical presence.
The Bruins front office are risking a lot for this move, but Rick Nash could be what it takes to get to the next level. They clearly are determined to win a cup right now, and Bruins fans should be excited.
Cover image courtesy of lastwordonhockey.com