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Rangers Trade Rick Nash to Bruins

Rick Nash was in his sixth season with the Rangers.

The Rangers traded six-time All-Star Rick Nash to the Bruins, the team announced Sunday.

In exchange for Nash, New York will receive forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, the rights to defensive prospect Ryan Lindgren, a first-round pick in the 2018 draft and a seventh-round pick in 2019. The Bruins retain 50% of Beleskey's salary through the 2020-21 season, while the Rangers will pay half of Nash's cap hit for the remainder of the season before he became a UFA on July 1.

Nash, expected to play on the Bruins' second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, will be available for Sunday's game in Buffalo.

In 60 games this season, Nash has netted 18 goals to go along with 10 assists. Nash, 33, is in his 15th season in the league. He spent the first nine season of his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets after being the top pick in the 2002 draft, racking up 289 goals and 547 points in 674 games. He currently holds the Columbus franchise records for all-time goals and points, as well as the single-season marks for those categories. Nash was traded to the Rangers before the 2012-13 season, posting 145 goals and 252 points in 375 games over six seasons on Broadway.

Spooner scored nine goals and 25 points in 39 games with the Bruins this season. He was Boston's second round pick in the 2010 draft and can become a restricted free agent at the end of his current one-year deal. Beleskey joined the Bruins after seven seasons in Anaheim, but has struggled in the three years since. In 14 games this season, he has zero points and was demoted to AHL Providence in December. He has two years left on his current contract at an AAV of $3.8 million. 

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Lindgren is currently in his sophomore season at the University of Minnesota, having been selected by the Bruins in the second round of the 2016 draft.

The Bruins are currently third in the Atlantic, one point behind the Maple Leafs and five points behind the Lightning for the top spot. However, their plus-48 goal differential is the third best in the NHL. The team also announced the signing of U.S. Olympic team captain Brian Gionta on Sunday, giving the 39-year-old forward a pro-rated one-year, one-way deal.

The Rangers, currently struggling in the NHL's Metropolitan Division, recently declared their intent to being rebuilding the team and have since traded forward Michael Grabner to rival New Jersey and defenseman Nick Holden in another deal with Boston. Heading into Sunday's game against the Red Wings, the Rangers sit at 27-30-5, eight points out of the Eastern Conference's second wild card spot. Following the Nash trade, the team now has nine picks in the 2018 draft, including two in each of the first three rounds.