The Boston Bruins have traded for All-Star forward Rich Nash in an effort to solidify their roster before the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Bruins acquired Nash in a multiplayer trade with the New York Rangers. In exchange for 33-year-old Nash, the Rangers will receive defenseman Ryan Lindgren, forwards Matt Beleskey and Ryan Spooner, Boston’s first-round draft pick in 2018, and a seventh-round draft pick in 2019.
The move comes as the Rangers look to move into a rebuilding phase, as recent slumps have New York languishing at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. Meanwhile, the Bruins are looking to give themselves the best possible chance at winning a Stanley Cup title this year, as they currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference with 82 points.
Nash Happy to Join Bruins
Nash was set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, and once the Rangers made the decision to look towards the future, they asked him to provide the organization with a list of teams he would consider accepting a trade too. While Nash was open to playing almost anywhere, the Bruins were one of his top choices.
“I wasn’t going to hold them hostage or anything like that, but I wanted to go to a place that wanted me and a place that had a chance to win,” Nash told ESPN. “And I think Boston fits those perfectly.”
Nash made his debut with Boston on Sunday, taking part in a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Nash played on the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBusk, and also played a role in the Bruins’ power play unit.
“I felt good on the ice, I felt strong,” Nash said after the game. “I thought with my linemates, we kind of clicked.”
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said that he was happy with what he got from Nash in his first game with the team.
“He did as advertised to me,” Cassidy said. “He’ll be a welcome addition for us.”
Boston Among Stanley Cup Favorites
While the Tampa Bay Lightning remain an 11/2 favorite to win the Stanley Cup, there is a small group of teams right behind them that are all considered serious contenders. They include not only the Bruins (9/1), but also the Nashville Predators (15/2), the surprising Vegas Golden Knights (10/1), the Washington Capitals (10/1), and the Pittsburgh Penguins (10/1). Meanwhile, the Rangers aren’t completely out of the playoff race yet. Their rebuilding shift has them as an 80/1 longshot.
Nash isn’t the only addition to the Boston lineup. On Sunday, the Bruins also signed forward Brian Gionta, who served as captain of the USA Olympic men’s hockey team.
The 39-year-old Gionta held off on signing with an NHL team in the offseason so that he could play in the Olympics, where he led the United States to a quarterfinals finish before being eliminated by the Czech Republic. Gionta is a two-time All-Star who has scored 289 goals over the course of his 15-year NHL career.