The much-anticipated trade of Rick Nash has come as the New York Rangers continue to rebuild. It all started with Nick Holden being traded to the Boston Bruins then Michael Grabner being traded to the New Jersey Devils. Now, Nash is set to become a member of the Bruins.
OFFICIAL: #NYR have acquired a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft from the Bruins in exchange for Rick Nash.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 25, 2018
This trade took about a day or so to pull off because of cap complications. Nash was traded to Boston for defenseman Ryan Lindgren, forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL draft, and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft.
New York is set to retain 50% of Nash's contract while Boston retains 50% of Beleskey's contract.
This trade is one of a few that New York has made so far, and they aren't finished especially with teams calling in to inquire about defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
New York made their plans know in a letter sent to season ticket holders stating that wanted to get younger and faster and that they may be bad for a while.
As Rangers' fans sit back and see multiple trades happen, this doesn't come without a plan though. New York now has nine draft picks in the upcoming 2018 NHL draft, six are within the top three rounds, and four are within the top two.
New York is meticulously planning their rebuild, and that is obviously mostly going to be done through the draft.
Boston gets Nash to make a push for the playoffs while getting rid of Spooner who was never able to find a slot in the lineup; Beleskey who had a contract that Boston needed to get rid of, and Lindgren who is in his second season at the University of Minnesota and is considered a pretty good defensive prospect.
Boston got their rental in Nash to start making their push towards the playoffs to be the team that comes out of the Tampa Bay-Toronto-Boston Atlantic Division triangle.
Rick Nash's year with New York
Another player to leave the struggling Rangers behind for greener pastures, Nash has 28 points (18 G, 10 A) on the year and becomes Boston's fourth-leading goal scorer. He automatically adds another scoring punch to a team that is ranked seventh in total goals in the NHL.
Nash may be getting older but he is still a good player. Nash's contract runs out after this season, but Boston should get good use out of him. He is projected to slot in the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk.
He will become another scoring threat for Boston and he may be able to actually be good in the playoffs with this team.
It's said that Nash is currently joining the team in Buffalo and he will face off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight.
Ryan Spooner's and Matt Beleskey's time with Boston
Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey leave a surging Boston team to join a rebuilding Rangers squad in hopes that they can carve roles with the team. Spooner was never truly able to become a consistent lineup player and Beleskey was barely ever on the ice.
Spooner is a good player having 25 points (9 G, 16 A) through 39 games played this year, but could never pass one of Boston's many good players. Spooner's contract runs out after this year, and if he can prove that he can stay then he'll most likely be in the Rangers future.
Beleskey has a high cap hit for a player of his caliber and his contract ends after the 2019 season. He most likely isn't apart of the Rangers' future.
He could never get on the ice or carve out a role with Boston and is severely overpaid. He was thrown into this deal just for cap purposes.
Who is Ryan Lindgren?
A great add for the Rangers, Lindgren is in his second season at the University of Minnesota. What the 20-year-old blueliner lacks in offensive ability he makes up for on the defensive end. He has a strong physical presence and a high IQ on the back end.
He currently has seven points (1 G, 6 A) in 33 games for Minnesota, but that isn't his game. He loves to hit and is a great defensive player. He uses his body to his advantage and could be slotted in New York's top four within the next couple of years.
He could become a staple on the Ranger's blueline and is the other key piece besides Spooner to this trade.
What this does for Monday's trade deadline
Just like the Grabner trade, this deal once again makes the market a little clearer for guys like Evander Kane, McDonagh, and so on. The Montreal Canadiens just traded Thomas Plekanec and a prospect to Toronto for two prospects and a draft pick as I write this, so that helps add to the vision of this trade deadline.
Teams that have missed out on the Nash sweepstakes are probably going to start looking at Buffalo for Kane. Everyone knows what Sabres GM Jason Botterill asking price is for Kane and with the Nash trade, he should be able to get it.
This trade only helps teams be able to set an asking price similar to this deal to be able to trade away their guys.
Monday's trade deadline should be a fun one as trades seem to be happening almost on an hourly basis. There should be at least one or two more blockbusters but expect teams to try hard to find role players as well.
What do you think of the Nash trade? Did either team win the trade? Tell me in the comments below!
Also, make sure you tune in to Vavel's NHL homepage as we will have wall to wall coverage of the trade deadline with live updates with rumors, trades, articles, tweets, and my live reactions as things go down. So make sure you stop by this Monday!