When it comes to deadline acquisitions, you have to give to get.
So while many Bruins fans would have preferred to see the Bruins acquire Rick Nash for a 7th-round pick and a borderline NHL prospect, it wasn’t going to happen. If you want to get a proven goal-scorer for the stretch run, you have to give up something that hurts a little.
However, on the whole, I am a fan of this trade for three main reasons.
1) The Bruins didn’t give up one of their top prospects
As stated above, you have to give to get. Rick Nash is arguably the biggest-name forward on the market this year, so it made sense to worry that the Bruins would lose a big-name prospect to get him.
Ryan Lindgren has had a decent college career and did pretty well at the WJC. He projects to be a pretty good NHL defenseman at some point. But he wasn’t a top-tier prospect in this system.
The Bruins were able to bolster their forward corps without giving up Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen, Anders Bjork, Peter Cehlarik, etc. That’s a win.
2) They improved the current roster.
I like Ryan Spooner. I think he got a bad rap here from Claude Julien, and that was a major reason his development stopped and started. I’m sad to see him go.
However, Rick Nash slotting in on the second line in Spooner’s spot makes this team better. It’s hard to argue that point.
Spooner was having a good season. He was good on the power play too, but Nash should be able to replace him. It’s not like Spooner was an all-situations dynamo whose skates can’t be filled by Nash.
Nash is an elite talent. He’s been playing on a middling franchise and still been producing. Putting him in the thick of a playoff race with elite talent around him should add some new spring to his stride.
3) Management just showed the team that they are all-in.
It’s an intangible, but it’s something, right?
The Bruins have been playing great hockey for months. By acquiring a big-name forward, Don Sweeney showed his team and his coaches that he is with them. “We’re going for it.”
If you’re of the mindset that this is overblown, it’s a fair point. It’s hard to prove that this is a real thing. But there’s a big difference between “meh, let’s go with what’s here” and “I think we’re a guy away, and we got him.”
The Bruins should receive a boost from the addition of Nash, both on the ice and in the locker room.
Overall, it was a move that improves the team without losing a ton. Sure, the 1st hurts, as does losing Spooner and Lindgren. But you can’t get good in without sending good out.
Nash makes the team better, and makes the Bruins more equipped for a deep playoff run.
What’s not to like?