Kyle Dubas has gotten an early start on this year’s NHL Trade Deadline by bringing Riley Nash to Toronto.
The news broke around dinner time Friday night that the Toronto Maple Leafs had acquired the centreman Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a conditional seventh round pick. The move comes two days before the NHL’s trade deadline.
Riley Nash traded to Toronto
Breaking Down the Trade
The 31-year-old Nash has played for three different teams across his 10-year NHL career. He has 63 goals and 172 points in 578 games with the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins and Blue Jackets.
The 27th overall pick in the 2007 entry draft had two goals and seven points in 37 games for the Blue Jackets this season. That was before suffering from a sprained knee in a 3-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Sunday.
By acquiring Nash, the Maple Leafs gained more than another centreman. Before the trade, the Leafs had approximately $1.7 million in deadline salary cap space.
By bringing in a contract that can be placed on long-term injured reserve, the Leafs have taken daily salary cap accrual out of the equation, they now have $2.75 million in space.
In a corresponding move, the Maple Leafs have also reportedly placed goaltender Frederik Andersen on LTIR to further gain salary cap space as the deadline approaches.
Freddy Andersen went on retroactive LTI today which doesn’t necessarily mean anything long term given the time he’s missed. Riley Nash will fit into the LTI room with the Leafs and then go on LTI himself. He is a player the Leafs like when he gets healthy.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 9, 2021
In return, the Leafs send the Jackets a seventh-round draft pick — upgraded to a sixth-rounder if Nash appears in 25 percent of the Leafs’ playoff games this year. They also gain by not having to stroke Nash a cheque as they alongside most businesses in today’s world, try to recover from the current COVID financial situation.
What Sparked the Trade
Besides all of the salary cap shenanigans that Kyle Dubas and his staff executed beautifully, the move makes a lot of sense for the Leafs.
Nash brings Toronto a shutdown centreman that it so desperately needs. He won’t put up any remarkable amount of offence but has the desired grit and defensive snarl that is desired come playoff time – which is when Nash should be available to play again.
The move also allows GM Dubas to potentially move Alexander Kerfoot in a bigger move at the deadline. Kerfoot has been a constant in Maple Leaf trade rumours as the NHL’s #1 team (as of press) looks to greatly improve the roster and do damage come playoff time this shortened season.