GREENBURGH, N.Y. — It was about 10 a.m. and Ryan Spooner was in his room at the Bruins’ hotel in Buffalo when he heard a knock on his door. General manager Don Sweeney had come to visit, so Spooner’s mind quickly began picking up speed, wondering what he did wrong.
It was Feb. 25, the day before the trade deadline. Boston had just sent Spooner to the Rangers in a package for Rick Nash.
The Bruins made Spooner a second-round pick in 2010 and he was with them for all or parts of six seasons. The 26-year-old center/wing was shocked. He went from being a Bruin that morning to a Ranger that night against Detroit at the Garden.
“It was a weird feeling,” Spooner said after Friday’s practice. “We had just played in the Garden I think a couple of weeks before that. I actually remember saying to some of the guys on our team that it would be a fun place to play . . . I guess I’m lucky to be here.”
The Rangers have been lucky to have him. The 5-10 Ottawa native has played left wing and has two goals and 11 assists heading into Saturday night’s game at St. Louis. The team is 5-2-2 since his arrival.
“He’s got a knack for making those little plays on turnovers that lead to great opportunities,” Alain Vigneault said. “Fortunately, he’s come to our team and he’s been able to find the scoresheet.”
Spooner set a Rangers record with six assists in his first three games and entered Friday tied for second in the NHL in assists since being traded.
“I like to pass first,” Spooner said. “It’s just kind of how I am, maybe because my shot’s not that good. Something I need to work on, for sure.”
Rob O’Gara, the defenseman from Nesconset who was traded to the Rangers by Boston on Feb. 20, said, “He’s extremely skilled. He sees the ice better than most.”
Spooner, who will be a restricted free agent, wants to stay with the rebuilding Rangers. The Bruins are a Cup contender. And if they win it?
“A part of me will wish that I was there, of course,” Spooner said. “But at the same time, too, I’d be thrilled for those guys.”
Notes & quotes: Alexandar Georgiev will make his third straight start. Said Vigneault, “I want to find out about this young goaltender.”