We as human beings are highly susceptible to marketing campaigns nowadays and will always pay more for something just because of its name, even if it’s not the greatest quality. In recent years, I’ve noticed that in the sports world with trades and free agent signings as well. People will always pay more for the name on the product.
The Boston Bruins made a big move ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline early this morning by acquiring forward Rick Nash from the New York Rangers in exchange for Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, prospect Ryan Lindgren, a 2018 first round draft pick, and a 2019 seventh round draft pick. While I’ve seen many Bruins fans rejoicing about this move, I’ve decided to play devil’s advocate.
Rick Nash is still a solid hockey player, but he is not star he once was with Columbus or in his early days with New York. He hasn’t topped 40 points since the 2014-2015 season, and he is no longer an elite goal scorer. He also has a reputation for being very streaky. When he’s hot, he looks like a superstar, but when he’s cold, he looks like Jimmy Hayes. While he will be a useful piece on the powerplay and the penalty kill, he is not the game changer he once was.
One of the biggest criticism’s of Rick Nash during his time in New York was his lack of production in the playoffs. He was brought in by the Rangers to be an elite scoring forward and lead them to the Stanley Cup, but unfortunately, he always disappeared come playoff time, scoring just 38 points in 73 postseason games. If this trend does not change, the Bruins will be in trouble.
Although it doesn’t look good now, a change of scenery could do wonders for Nash, who is leaving an Alain Vigneault-coached system that is constantly berated by Ranger fans. He also won’t be facing the pressures of being “the guy” in Boston. While I hope to see it work out for the Bruins (unless they play the Devils in the playoffs), I just can’t shake the feeling that they overpaid for a washed up rental.
As I said, I hope I’m wrong about Rick Nash, but this move reminds me of the Jaromir Jagr trade the Bruins made a few years ago, where they overpaid for the name and not the quality of the product. By acquiring Rick Nash, the Bruins gave up a haul for a player because of who he was, and not what he is now. Rick Nash could and should be useful for the Bruins, but Boston fans should temper their expectations.
*Photo: Yahoo Sports