In what will perhaps be one of the strangest trades ahead of the NHL trade deadline, former Boston Bruins center Riley Nash was dealt from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a conditional seventh round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
The 31-year-old Nash is currently injured and in the final year of his contract with the Blue Jackets and is expected to be out for the next 4-6 weeks with a sprained knee suffered after a collision with Florida Panthers forward Noel Acciari. So, it looks like the Maple Leafs will just Nash on the injured reserve for the rest of the regular season and bank his $2.75 million cap hit with a possible return during a postseason run.
The #LeafsForever acquired 31 y/o C Riley Nash ($2.75M then UFA) for cond ’22 7th.#Leafs place Nash & Andersen on LTIR, allowing them to exceed cap by $7.5M, leaving them $5.8M more annual cap hit that can be added. This reduces by $5M w/ Andersen back.https://t.co/hB3guKRv0K pic.twitter.com/L8QZuVx9Iv
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) April 9, 2021
That’s actually a pretty savvy trade for the Maple Leafs in that they’ll get either cap relief or an extra bottom-6 center for virtually nothing if Nash can get healthy at some point during the postseason. Nash has two goals and seven points along with a minus-1 rating in 37 games this season but hasn’t really lived up to the guy that posted 15 goals and 41 points in his final season with Boston before signing his contract with Columbus.
It will be interesting to see if there are many more of these bargain hunter-style deals ahead of Monday’s trade deadline given the flat salary cap situation all NHL teams are facing this season and beyond.
Now for the rest of the BHN Puck Links:
*What are the Boston Bruins doing scouting all of the NHL teams out in California? My partner-in-crime Jimmy Murphy has the scoop. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Vancouver Canucks forward Tanner Pearson has signed a new three-year extension with the Canucks that will pay him to the tune of a $3.25 million cap hit over the next three seasons. (TSN)
*The Flyers are clearly in the market for a defenseman to help them this season and beyond, and our friends over at Philly Hockey Now are providing a list of blueliners with term that could help out the Flyers. (Philly Hockey Now)
*Boston Bruins left winger Brad Marchand was dazzling with his shorthanded game-winner against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night. (Boston Hockey Now)
*You can cross one name off the Boston Bruins trade big board with the news that Bobby Ryan is done for the season with a hernia surgery. (NHL.com)
*What a savage commentary on both Lou Lamoriello’s “no facial hair” policy and Kyle Palmieri’s eyebrows. Too funny.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 8, 2021
*An interesting look at the honesty of San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson courtesy of our friend Sheng Peng. (San Jose Hockey Now)
*For something completely different: Congrats to UMass for making it all the way to the Frozen Four championship game with a chance for their first NCAA title. (UMass Athletics)