Jan. 6: Nash is now on the way to his third team this season. Friedman reports that the Arizona Coyotes claimed Nash on Thursday, adding to arguably the thinnest forward depth in the league.
Jan. 5: A veteran center is available once again, as the Tampa Bay Lightning have placed Riley Nash on waivers according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Nash was claimed from the Winnipeg Jets last month and played 10 games for the Lightning while they dealt with various injuries and absences.
Now, with Nikita Kucherov nearing a return and Anthony Cirelli back from his COVID absence, the Lightning no longer require Nash at the NHL level. By placing him on waivers, they would be able to stash him on the taxi squad should no other team put in a claim. The Jets could also send him directly to the minors or taxi squad if they decide to claim Nash and are the only team to do so.
That’s certainly no guarantee though, as there are several teams around the league who could probably use an experienced option while they deal with massive COVID-related absences. The fact that Nash earns the league minimum of $750K also suggests someone else could put in a claim.
A veteran of more than 600 NHL games, it’s been a struggle offensively for the 32-year-old center over the last few years. After reaching a career-high of 15 goals and 41 points in 2017-18, he became basically a defense-only option in his next few stops. Since the start of the 2018-19 season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nash has registered 10 goals and 33 points in 204 games.