On Tuesday, the Boston Bruins made a trade with the New York Rangers, landing defenseman Nick Holden in return for defenseman Rob O’Gara and a third round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. The trade took place and many expected the Bruins to move to their second priority on the market: acquiring a winger to add an offensive boost for a long playoff run.
But not so fast. Although they are rumors that captain Zdeno Chara might be signed for an additional year, to remain and retire as a Bruin in the summer 2019, they might already be thinking of racking up a strong blue line for now, and for years to come.
Though Holden would be enough of an addition to take on extra minutes to allow Chara to be efficient every shift and for young rookie Charlie McAvoy to adapt to playoff hockey, it seems like the Bruins are not done shopping to bolster their back end. Furthermore, it seems that the shopping will still take place in New York City, because Ryan McDonagh remains their main target.
According to Elliotte Friedman, if the Bruins have the guts to pull the trigger, we could see a much more major move on the horizon between the two teams. Friedman wrote this in his latest column of 31 Thoughts of Sportsnet:
"Don’t believe Boston’s addition of Nick Holden prevents them from adding another current Rangers defender. Question is whether or not the Bruins are willing to take the plunge.
Can’t pin it down, but there also appears to be Western Conference interest in Ryan McDonagh."
One thing is sure, there is a lot of competition to land the Rangers' captain. For the last few weeks, it has been known that Boston is quite interested, along with the Tampa Bay Lightning, who is also said to have eyes on Detroit Red Wings rental defender Mike Green.
Now, Friedman notes that there seems to be interest in the Western Conference for McDonagh. Though he has yet to pinpoint specific teams that make the call to Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton, it is believed that the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild could be looking to add on their blue line, of a longer postseason.
While rumors have placed McDonagh on the block ahead of the deadline, many insiders suggest a move that will include the Rangers captain might be done more over the summer, around the NHL Entry Draft, so the Rangers can find a better suitor for the star defender and ensure their land a massive return in the deal.
"Which, as the process began with a winning trade Tuesday of pending free agent Nick Holden to the Bruins for a third-round draft choice and 24-year-old defenseman Rob O’Gara, is why Ryan McDonagh might remain the Rangers captain beyond the Feb. 26 deadline even as a swirl of suitors circle the situation," writes Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
However, with just five days to go, the Bruins might not be done shopping in the Big Apple - only this short period of time will tell.