(Photo via Sportsnet.ca)
By Michael Wax
The Lightning have claimed C Riley Nash off of waivers from the Winnipeg Jets. Nash, 32, has appeared in 593 games over 11 seasons with Winnipeg, Columbus, Boston, and Carolina, scoring 63 goals and 172 points.
In 15 games this season, Nash has yet to record a point. That shouldn't concern the Lightning, given the plethora of offensive talent, and the reinforcements yet to come. Nash has been brought onto the Bolts for one reason, and one reason only: defense.
While the bottom six have done a brilliant job in their roles, including the Grumpy Old Men Line and the Kid Line getting some offense on the board recently, it's never a bad idea to have depth. Nash ranks as one of the best defensive forwards in the league and can play either center or wing on the bottom six. He's got penalty-killing experience, so he can step into the role if needed and could be a big mentor to Raddysh on a potential 3rd line of penalty-killing forwards.
With a fully healthy lineup, Nash will most likely be placed back on waivers, in an attempt to bolster the Syracuse Crunch. While the Crunch haven't played recently due to an AHL COVID-19 scare, they'll need defensive forwards when they return to ease the load on Amir Miftakhov and Hugo Alnefelt. Regardless, it'll be nice to have Nash on the main roster for the time being.
Welcome to Tampa, Riley Nash!
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