Boston Bruins acquire Rick Nash in trade with New York Rangers

The New York Rangers traded forward Rick Nash as part of a multiplayer deal with the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

The Rangers acquired the Bruins' first-round pick in this year's draft as well as forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, defenseman Ryan Lindgren and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 draft in a deal made a day before the NHL's trading deadline.

Nash has topped 30 goals in eight of his 15 NHL seasons.

The 33-year-old Nash leaves the rebuilding Rangers to join a Bruins team that ranks third in the Eastern Conference standings with 82 points. Nash is in the final year of his contract and eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Bruins play at Buffalo on Sunday and are coming off a 4-3 loss at Toronto on Saturday night.

Nash is traveling to join the Bruins and will be eligible to play.

This marks the second trade between the two teams this past week. On Tuesday, the Bruins acquired veteran defenseman Nick Holden for prospect Robbie O'Gara and a draft pick.

The Rangers are retooling their aging roster at a time the team is slipping out of playoff contention. They're 5-16 in their past 21 games since Jan. 7 and have lost six straight in preparing to host Detroit on Sunday.

In anticipation of trading Nash, the Rangers had the forward sit out their past two games to avoid the possibility of getting injured.

Nash has 18 goals and 28 points in 60 games this season. He was selected by Columbus with the No. 1 pick in the 2002 draft and played his first nine seasons with the Blue Jackets before being traded to the Rangers in a multiplayer deal in July 2012. Overall, he has 434 goals and 799 points.

The Rangers saluted Nash following the trade by posting a note on their Twitter account by thanking him for “6 memorable years as part of the New York Rangers family. Once a Ranger, always a Ranger. We salute you!”

The deal allowed New York to add much-needed youth.

The 26-year-old Spooner has 41 goals and 142 points in 252 NHL games since being selected by Boston in the second round of the 2010 draft. Lindgren was selected by Boston in the second round of the 2016 draft and currently is playing his sophomore season at the University of Minnesota.

Beleskey has 10 seasons of NHL experience, including the past three with Boston. He had no points in 14 games with Boston before being demoted to the minors in December.

Bruins sign Olympic captain Brian Gionta

Brian Gionta is returning for a 16th NHL season after the Boston Bruins signed the United States Olympic team captain to a one-year $700,000 contract.

The Bruins announced the signing on Sunday, a few hours after they acquired veteran forward Rick Nash in a multiplayer trade with the New York Rangers.

Gionta joins the Bruins after competing at the Pyeongchang Winter Games, where the U.S. was eliminated following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday. The 39-year-old held off signing with an NHL team in free agency last summer in order to pursue an opportunity to compete at the Olympics.

Gionta spent the previous three seasons as captain of the Buffalo Sabres. He was also captain of the Montreal Canadiens, and won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003.

Overall, he has 289 goals and 588 points in 1,006 NHL games.

The Bruins are in Buffalo to play the Sabres on Sunday.

The signing marks a homecoming of sorts for Gionta, who spent four seasons playing for Boston College. Gionta is from nearby Rochester, New York, and has a home in Buffalo.

The Bruins also placed defenseman Paul Postma on waivers.

Maple Leafs get Plekanec in deal with Canadiens

The Maple Leafs acquired forwards Tomas Plekanec and Kyle Baun from the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Rinat Valiev, forward Kerby Rychel and a 2018 second-round draft pick Sunday.

Plekanec, 35, had six goals and 18 assists in 60 games with Montreal this season. The native of Kladno, Czech Republic, has played in 981 NHL regular-season games, with 232 goals and 373 assists.

Plekanec has also appeared in 87 playoff games, recording 16 goals and 33 assists. Montreal originally selected Plekanec in the third round, No. 71 overall, in the 2001 draft.

Baun, 25, played in 54 games with the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League, with four goals and 12 assists. The Toronto native has 19 goals and 40 assists in 171 AHL regular-season games.

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