Boston Bruins

Spelling out the facts on Rick Nash

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Spelling out the facts on Rick Nash

With the Stanley Cup Finals little more than a week away, the busy season has arrived for the rest of the NHL beginning work on their offseason plans. Trade rumors, signing your own players and major roster decisions are all in play with the NHL Draft and NHL free agency little more than a month away.

That means the rumor mill is getting worked into a deep frenzy for 27 NHL teams watching the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings work out the whole Stanley Cup thing. There were reports out of Columbus that the Bruins are working on pulling together a deal for discontented sniper Rick Nash as he becomes the biggest trophy on the trade market this summer.

According to The Canon blog out of Columbus, the Blue Jackets TV play-by-play guy, Jeff Rimer, reported on one of the local radio stations that the Bruins were preparing a major offer for the former No. 1 overall pick.

While its true Nash is considered one of the best offensive talents in the NHL as a 6-foot-4, 216-pound left wing, the 27-year-old is also coming off one of his worst seasons with 59 points and a minus-14 for an admittedly miserable Columbus hockey team.

With that in mind lets go on a little fact-finding mission when it comes to Nash and the Bruins:

Fact: The Bruins are one of the teams that Nash would agree to waive his no-trade clause for and his camp admitted as much during the winter when his name first seriously surfaced at the trade deadline. So Boston is a place that the

Fact: The Bruins have interest in Nash as most every other team in the NHL would if they could clear out of the 7.8 million in cap space required to bring the forward onto a new team. That would mean the Bruins would need to move a player in the 5 million salary cap hit neighborhood (David Krejci, Tim Thomas) before even thinking about bringing in such a heavy hitter.

Fact: Columbus is going to be looking at premium prices in exchange for their franchise player with many teams expected to be in the sweepstakes around the time of the NHL Draft in Pittsburgh. Most expected that the Blue Jackets would be looking for Tuukka Rask in any Nash exchange given Columbus dreadful performance between the pipes, but indications to CSNNE.com from several places are that the Blue Jackets are looking for either Milan Lucic or Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton as their desired price tag. Seguin is an untouchable for the Bruins coming off a sophomore NHL season where he blossomed into an All-Star performer, but Lucic appears to have his name coming up more and more often in trade discussions. Prices may drop if the Blue Jackets have a difficult time finding a home for a disgruntled player that clearly doesnt want to be in Ohio next season, but the Bruins will need to part with something good. It makes much more sense for the Bruins to sell Columbus on a package of Krejci and prospectspicks, but that doesnt appear that it will be close to enough.

Fact: the Columbus blog post mentions Patrice Bergeron as a possibility to be moved to Columbus in the right circumstances. Thats never going to happen. No player in their right minds is going to waive a no-trade clause to go from Boston to Columbus. Thats where players like Jeff Carter go as punishment for their misdeeds rather than a landing spot for the Selke Trophy favorite this season.

Fact: the fact Boston is poking around Nash clearly illustrates their understanding that finding a little more offensive punch is a need after this springs feeble output against the Washington Capitals. Nash would be an ideal No. 1 left wing finisher and fits the bill for Bostons clear need, but it set off some bells and whistles that the winger played on many dreadful Blue Jackets teams and has exactly four games of postseason experience on his resume.

Fact: The Blue Jackets are asking for too much for Nash at this point. This hockey writer can only see the superstar winger coming to Boston if Columbus is willing to take on Krejci or Tim Thomas in exchange for their franchise cornerstone. That may or may not happen

Beleskey happy to return from foot injury

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Beleskey happy to return from foot injury

BRIGHTON, Mass – It was absolutely an “uh-oh” moment for Matt Beleskey when he was hit on the foot with a shot Monday night in the Bruins' preseason opener against the Canadiens. Beleskey, 29, was just hoping that his foot wasn’t broken in what would have been another shot of bad luck coming off a tough season for the hard-nosed winger, so his hopes have been answered given his presence in the lineup for the preseason game Saturday night vs. the Detroit Red Wings.

Beleskey missed the past two preseason games and most of the practice time as well but returned to the ice on Friday before getting ready for tonight's game. With plenty to prove while coming off a down second season in Boston, Beleskey knows he needs a strong camp that can’t get derailed by injuries or assorted bumps and bruises.

“I definitely did not want a broken foot to start the year, so I’m glad that I was fine,” said Beleskey, who finished with three goals and eight points along with a minus-10 in 49 games last season. “I took a puck in the face during warm-ups and the shot to the foot in the third, so that’s quite a good start to the year. But hopefully, I’ve got those out of the way now.

“I felt really good in the last game. It was great to see some of the work I did in the summertime paying off, so now we build on that [against Detroit] and keep things moving. There are a lot of great players here [in camp] and there’s great competition. I’m just here to play my game and prove myself, and I’ve got all the confidence in the world I can do that.”

Now that he’s been given a full bill of health again, Beleskey will get just that chance skating with Sean Kuraly and Ryan Fitzgerald on Saturday night in Hockeytown amid a deeply competitive situation for Boston’s third line. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for the Bruins against the Red Wings in Boston’s fourth game of the preseason:

DeBrusk-Krejci-Pastrnak
Vatrano-Czarnik-Purcell
Beleskey-Kuraly-Fitzgerald
Schaller-Szwarz-Senyshyn

Miller-McAvoy
Grzelcyk-McQuaid
O’Gara-Zboril

McIntyre
Subban