Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

Report: Bruins attempting to finalize trade for Rick Nash

Ty Anderson
February 24, 2018 - 9:31 pm

The Bruins have suddenly emerged as the legitimate frontrunners for Rangers winger Rick Nash, according to multiple reports.

First, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that he was hearing that the Bruins emerged as the ‘leading contender’ for Nash. Then TSN’s Darren Dreger noted that the sides are having ongoing discussions to figure out the cap maneuvering necessary to complete a trade, and TSN colleague Bob McKenzie chimed in to make note of the bevy of prospects the B’s can offer the Rangers in a trade (Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Trent Frederic, and Ryan Lindgren were some of the names highlighted by McKenzie).

By midnight, multiple outlets reported that the Bruins and Rangers have the general framework a deal in place, but need to get creative with some money to make this trade work from a salary cap perspective.

An unrestricted free agent this summer, Nash carries an $7.8 million cap hit on his current contract, and even with a friendlier pro-rated figure still owed to Nash, the Bruins would need to move nearly $6 million in collective cap hits to make this trade work without any sort of salary retention from the Rangers or a third team. That retention or a third team taking on some of the B's money is by all means a must for this deal to successfully go through before the deadline. (This is somewhat similar to the issues that caused the initial delay in the Brassard to Pittsburgh trade on Friday.) 

According to McKenzie, it's believed that the return on Nash from Boston will be a first-round pick and one of the club's solid prospects (read as: not one of their top of the line kids). Ryan Donato, for the record, is not one of the prospects considered to be on the table in this deal. And it's also believed that the Bruins are attempting to find a taker for the Matt Beleskey contract (owed $3.8 million per year for two more seasons after this one wraps) in an effort to help clear some of that cap space needed. 

The 33-year-old Nash has scored 18 goals and totaled 28 points in 60 games this season, and would likely be acquired as a fit to the right of David Krejci on the Black and Gold’s second line. Nash has 15 goals and 41 points in 77 career playoff games, including three goals and five points in 12 postseason contests last spring.

This would also be the second trade between the B's and Rangers in the last week alone, as the Bruins sent a third-round pick and Robbie O'Gara to the Blueshirts in exchange for defenseman Nick Holden on Tuesday. And for what it’s worth (nothing more than a fun sidebar), the Bruins and Rangers have not made multiple trade in the same season since 1975. That was the year that the Bruins famously traded Phil Esposito to New York in exchange for Brad Park and Jean Ratelle.

The NHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. on Monday. 

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