The Bruins this season have been overachievers. Coming into the season many believed this was a year for the kids to get acclimated to the NHL and see if they can hang with the big guns. They are currently sitting third in the Atlantic Division with an impressive record of 37-15-8. No one can deny the fact that under Cassidy the Bruins play an exciting fast pace game. The black and gold are the perfect mix of veterans and rookies, who feed off each other, and have been the story of the NHL, second to the success of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. At the deadline the Bruins were busy adding depth at multiple positions for the playoff run. Let’s look at of the trades Don Sweeny has made to bulk up the Bruins as they look to have an extended stay in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
Bruins acquire Rick Nash from the New York Rangers for Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren, 2018 first pick and 2018 7th round pick
I’m a huge fan of this trade for many reasons. First off, the Bruins got a top six forward who has been a well-known goal scorer in the NHL for years. Nash has 18 goals and 10 assists this year. He is a big body that slots perfectly with David Krecji and Jake DeBrusk. Nash is the type of player that works best in front of the goal and with quick hands. He is also a physical presence that is much needed on that line. Now I like to be on the positive side, you must be thinking “wow a Boston writer that is not a negative Nancy all the time?”, but this trade some are calling a robbery by the Rangers. The Rangers receive Spooner, who was greatly overachieving this year. Spooner has 9 goals this year and 18 assists. He was the perfect set up guy for the line but is not a guy you can lean on for constant scoring and cannot take over a game, unlike Nash. The draft picks might be considered what put this deal over the top for a rental in Nash. However, the Bruins farm system is a spring of young talent like: JFK, Fitzgerald, Bjork, Agostino and you know the USA leading goal scorer in the Olympics Ryan Donato? Bruins draft pick. So, the Bruins could afford losing two picks and a solid defensive product in Ryan Lindgren. And good-bye to Matt Belesky, thanks for nothing. Before yesterday’s game Nash said, “I wanted to go to a place that wanted me and a place that had a great chance to win.” Well you’re in the right place. And for those nay Sayers, saying Nash is washed up. He is far from it. If you watch the games, you see that Nash barley misses opportunities to get on the score sheet and does the little things that help a team win.
Bruins acquire Nick Holden from the Rangers for Rob O’ Gara and 2018 third round pick
A depth move for the Bruins as it is no secret that the Bruins always want help on the blue line. I’m not sure if Holden will get consistent playing time. In New York he played on the first line time with then Ranger teammate Ryan McDonagh. A solid player that can cover the defense if someone goes down with an injury. Hate that the Bruins gave up O’Gara. I watched a few games while he played at Yale and he could control the game from the blue line out.
Bruins trade Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers for a 2018 third round pick
Also hate to see the hometown kid go, but he was not going to get the playing time he needed. And the times he was in, he didn’t contribute because he is used to play consistent minutes. Might as well get something for him.
Bruins acquire Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks for 2019 conditional fifth round pick
Another buy low, depth deal. Wingels has 7 goals and 5 assists in 57 games for the Hawks. Looks to be a solid third line winger, but once again do you want to sub in him for lines that have been working so far?
By: Nick Riley
Photo Credit: New York Daily News