Nick Ritchie was not expecting Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray to ship him out at the 2020 NHL trade deadline in February. On deadline day, however, Murray elected to trade Ritchie to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Danton Heinen. It was a shock for Ritchie, but it turns out it was only the beginning of a wild and strange ride.
“Yeah, it has been strange,” Nick Ritchie said via Zoom on Wednesday. “I started in Anaheim, was there for awhile, season was rolling along fine, everything was good. Get traded, wasn’t expecting it, didn’t know that was happening. There was a new thing that got me really excited, got me to go to the first place team. We’re kind of just starting to get going and get close to the playoffs. There’s only a month of the season left and this hit and that’s been it.”
Ritchie had only played in seven games with the Bruins when the NHL shutdown due to COVID-19. In that span, he amassed two points (1 g, 1 a) and 19 penalty minutes.
Those seven games were barely enough to get into the room and meet all of his new teammates, coaches and support staff. However, it wasn’t enough time to get fully comfortable in Boston.
“Obviously it’s been tough where we haven’t seen the team or obviously practice or anything,” Ritchie admitted. “I was there for such a little time that I didn’t get to know everybody like everyone else knew everybody with me being one of the few new guys. That kind of sucked that the pause happened.”
Ritchie wasn’t the only new guy, however. Joining him is former Ducks teammate Ondrej Kase, who the Bruins traded for just three days earlier. Luckily for both, captain Zdeno Chara has organized Zoom meetings to keep everyone in contact.
“It feels like you’re back in the locker room for an hour or so,” Ritchie said when discussing those calls. “That’s all we can do right now and it’s pretty good.”