The Tampa Bay Lightning had one last trick up their sleeve at the 2022 trade deadline by acquiring Riley Nash from the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes had previously claimed Nash off waivers from the Lightning at the beginning of January.
The Coyotes waived Nash yesterday and he subsequently cleared waivers today at 2PM EST, so he will be eligible to be assigned to the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL immediately without Tampa Bay needing to clear cap space to facilitate the trade.
Not much has changed about Riley Nash since we last profiled the veteran forward when he was claimed off waivers by the Lightning at the beginning of December. He’s a depth forward that shuts down both offenses when he is on the ice.
Nash was held scoreless in his 10 games with the Lightning but improved a little in Arizona by recording 4 assists in 24 games.
Besides shutting things down for both teams, Nash will also provide an added layer of penalty kill depth and faceoff ability as he has won over 50% of his draws on all three teams he has played for this season.
Nash’s even strength on-ice stats still rank strongly on the Lightning this season. His CF% of 53.29% ranks third, xGF% of 61.16% ranks second, and xGA/60 of 1.81 ties him for second. However, to show his own offensive play-driving deficiencies, his actual GF/60 of 1.23 is third worst among Lightning players with more than one game played this season.
At the very least Jon Cooper will be able to insert Nash into the lineup knowing that he will control the majority of chances on the ice and prevent quality chances from the other team, should the need arise. And for someone who will likely only see playoff action in the event of injuries, that is perfectly acceptable and desirable to have as an option.
Bringing back Riley Nash is a move you can’t lose. He’s a player who you always know what you’re going to get, a reliable center iceman. Being able to add a player like him for depth down the stretch and into playoffs could prove to be invaluable.
Henry’s Grade: A+
Riley Nash is a perfect depth addition that is an already known fit on the roster. We gave up no assets but returned one that could prove valuable in the event the injury bug bites the team between now and the end of the season. Great work by Julien BriseBois.
Stephen’s Grade: A+