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Sports Maple Leafs acquire Riley Nash from Blue Jackets for draft pick

03:55  10 april  2021
03:55  10 april  2021 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

COVID protocol-related absences: 03/31/21

  COVID protocol-related absences: 03/31/21 Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is the list for today: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Anaheim – Alexander VolkovBoston – Jake DeBruskFlorida – TBALos Angeles – Brendan LemieuxMinnesota – Zach PariseMontreal – Joel Armia, Eric StaalNY Rangers – Brett Howden Vancouver – Adam GaudetteAs a reminder, inclusion on this list does not mean that a player has tested positive for Coronavirus or even that they have been confirmed as a close contact to another positive person.

a hockey game in the snow: Riley Nash is headed for Toronto. © Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports Riley Nash is headed for Toronto.

Riley Nash might not play again during the regular season, but he’s now in a situation where the playoffs could be a possibility. The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a conditional seventh-round selection in 2022. Nash is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained knee, meaning he essentially is a playoff pickup for the Maple Leafs. If he plays in 25% of the Maple Leafs’ playoff games this season, the seventh-round selection will become a sixth-rounder.

The veteran forward will likely be put on long-term injured reserve through the end of the season, meaning his cap hit is basically irrelevant to the Maple Leafs. Toronto had placed Frederik Andersen on LTIR earlier Friday as well, meaning the team can go further into the extra room with Nash placed there. Once the playoffs begin, the salary cap isn’t used, meaning Toronto could activate both players without penalty.

NHL postpones Wednesday's Calgary-Vancouver game

  NHL postpones Wednesday's Calgary-Vancouver game The NHL has decided to ere on the side of caution as a result of Adam Gaudette’s positive COVID-19 test.  Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that tonight’s game between the Canucks and Flames has been postponed.  TSN’s Frank Seravalli tweets that the decision was made after more information has surfaced regarding Vancouver’s test results; that information obviously has not yet been made public.

It might seem complicated, but at the end of the day, this is the Maple Leafs exercising their financial power to grab some added playoff depth at a very low cost. Nash may not even be ready to contribute this season, but for just a seventh-round pick it’s a worthwhile gamble. The 31-year-old center isn’t much of an offensive presence, with just two goals and seven points through 37 games this season, but has long been lauded for his checking abilities and defensive prowess.

For the Blue Jackets, getting anything back for a player on an expiring contract who wasn’t going to play again this season is a win, but obviously, they would have rather moved him without the injury involved. The Blue Jackets aren’t technically out of the playoff race in the Central Division, but after losing Nash, Boone Jenner and Zach Werenski over the last few days, things aren’t looking good.

Trade-deadline primer: Toronto Maple Leafs

  Trade-deadline primer: Toronto Maple Leafs After bringing in some experience and character in the offseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been the unquestioned leader of the North Division for most of the season. They now sit seven points clear of the second place Winnipeg Jets, meaning if there was ever a year for GM Kyle Dubas to push his chips to the middle, this might be it. Dubas himself has admitted that the team’s cap situation may lend itself to going after a rental instead of a player with term this year, meaning nearly everyone on an expiring contract could be a target for the Maple Leafs.

This move does not take Toronto out of the running for another forward; in fact, it could give the Leafs even more cap flexibility depending on Andersen’s injury situation. GM Kyle Dubas has been open about his desire to improve the club with rentals, pushing some chips to the middle in this unique season.

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This is interesting!