First of all, I just want to admit I’ve never been a big Rick Nash guy. Yes, he has the size, hands, and unbelievable shot that coaches wet the bed over. I respect that. But I’ve never felt Nash’s pay checks matched his true value. His playoff track record isn’t the greatest, which has led others to wonder if his pay grade is warranted too, and I never got the sense he is a clutch/key “get your team over the hump” type of player. But I also remember when people felt that way about Phil Kessel. How’s he doing now?
With that being said, Don Sweeney believes Rick Nash can be a Phil Kessel like catalyst to help get the B’s over the hump. And the deal he orchestrated to get Nash now solidifies Sweeney as a trusted and good GM beyond just player development.
In a league where trade deadline deals for rentals are usually brutal asset crushing over payments Sweeney avoided that scenario perfectly. Essentially when it comes to current assets that were contributing to this season Sweeney only traded one rostered player, Ryan Spooner, for Rick Nash. The rest of the pieces of the deal that Sweeney sent to the New York Rangers (a 1st round pick this summer, prospect Ryan Lindgren, cast off salary cap anchor Matt Beleskey, and a 2019 7th round pick) are undetermined, unproven, or unwanted parts. Sure they’re assets nonetheless, but for a Bruins organization stockpiled with far better ones to choose from, Sweeney did very well in this deal.
The real juice of the deal was getting David Krejci, the sauce, dish, and hands master, a legit weapon on his wing. Whether it was Milan Lucic in his prime, Nathan Horton, or even Jarome Iginla, Krejci has always raised the game and production of strong complimentary wingers. And the remaining 2011 Stanley Cup winning core of Bruins players most successful teams featured a complimentary Krejci winger. Rick Nash fits that bill.
Like Kessel in Pittsburgh, Nash doesn’t have to be “the man” that he was looked at to be in Columbus and New York. He can simply be a “do your job” like piece to this Bruins championship puzzle they’re trying to put together. And in his B’s debut last night, in a tired looking road trip finale against Buffalo, Rick Nash was the best Bruin on the ice.
And with that I’m buying what Sweeney bought. I like the move. I like it because I think Sweeney nailed the risk-reward trade off he had to evaluate and execute. He didn’t overpay. So now I’m a huge Rick Nash guy. The biggest Rick Nash guy you’ll ever meet. And I hope I still am come June.
PS: Do you think Ryan Spooner is a big Rick Nash guy?