Rebuilding Rangers deal Holden to Bruins
|Toronto Star 20 Feb 2018 at 19:46|
The rebuilding Rangers traded defenceman Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins for defenceman Rob O’Gara and Boston’s third-round pick in the June draft, in the first of what should be at least a few deals general manager Jeff Gorton makes before Monday afternoon’s NHL trade deadline .
The 30-year-old Holden will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He played 135 games as a Ranger after being acquired from Colorado during the summer of 2016 for a 2017 fourth-round pick.
With the solid return, the Rangers now have seven picks in this year’s draft; their seventh-rounder belongs to Ottawa, who acquired the pick as part of the Mika Zibanejad-Derick Brassard trade from 2016.
O’Gara, a 24-year-old native of Massapequa on Long Island, was a fifth-round pick by the Bruins in the 2011 draft. The six-foot-four Yale product is on the last year of his entry-level contract and will be an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent this summer. He has two goals and six assists in 43 AHL games this season. He’s played 11 career NHL games and begins his Rangers tenure on the NHL roster.
Holden has three goals and nine assists in 55 games this season, most of which was spent playing to Ryan McDonagh’s right on the top pair. Holden showed some offensive flair last season with 34 points but struggled during the home stretch and into the playoffs.
The news was difficult for leading goal-scorer Michael Grabner, another pending unrestricted free agent who also figures to be gone before Monday’s deadline.
“Guess it’s this time of the year..always tough to see your teammates go and especially one of my good friends Holds..never seen a happier person in my life..only hope the best for you and good luck in Boston #seeyouontheice,” Grabner wrote on Twitter.
Rick Nash has been bracing for a trade since he submitted his trade list more than two weeks ago, leading to weird days as he awaits a deal while still wanting to stay. “It’s obviously strange ever since it happened,” Nash said recently. “But I’m trying to be a pro about it and bring my best effort every night.”
The Rangers formally announced on Feb. 8 their intent to rebuild the roster, a process which will continue this summer. They entered Tuesday five points out of a playoff spot having lost 14 of their last 19 games, all regulation losses.