NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Rangers’ fire sale has begun.
In the first of what is expected to be a series of moves before Monday’s trade deadline, the Blueshirts dealt defenseman Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday in exchange for 24-year-old defenseman Rob O’Gara and a third-round pick in June’s draft.
In an open letter earlier this month, the Rangers, who are in last place in the Metropolitan Division, braced their fans for the major rebuild on the horizon.
“As we approach the trade deadline later this month and into the summer, we will be focused on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character,” the team said.
“This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about & respect. While this is part of the game it’s never easy. Our promise to you is that our plans will be guided by our singular commitment: ensuring we’re building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup contender.”
The Rangers acquired Holden in a June 2016 trade with the Colorado Avalanche. In 55 games this season, the 30-year-old forward had three goals, nine assists (12 points) and a minus-3 rating. He averaged about 19 minutes per game on the ice.
Holden, who is making $1.8 million this year, is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Other Rangers believed to be on the trading block include wingers Rich Nash and Michael Grabner, center David Desharnais and defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
O’Gara, a Long Island native, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Bruins in 2011 out of Yale. He has played in just 11 NHL games — three last season and eight this year. He has yet to register a point and has a minus-4 rating.
In 43 games with the AHL Providence Bruins this season, O’Gara has two goals, six assists (eight points) and a plus-5 rating.