Rick Nash - RW
It really cannot be overstated how much the Bruins lost this season due to injury and the reaction to said injuries. Nothing quite explained this particular feeling of “Oh god not this again” more than the B’s trade deadline, which ultimately was a load of depth players in the vain hope of them being able to pick up from the main roster guys who were markedly better...and then their big money pickup. The one that said “Look out. Here we come.”
That one was Rick Nash.
And even he couldn’t avoid the Bruins injury bug. He was one game away from being on the incompletes article. That’s how much wind was taken out of his sails from injury.
Nash as a member of the Bruins made a pretty immediate impact for his new team as the 2nd line RW alongside David Krejci, finding ways to open up the ice for his speedy linemates in ways other stopgap options hadn’t been able to. It helped that Nash seemed to really enjoy the fruits of players like Krejci and DeBrusk getting open ice like that.
And then, right after a game with the Tampa Bay Lightning where he received an upper body injury...he disappeared. And he wouldn’t return until the first round of the playoffs we’d find out, as his injury basically wiped him from the roster until then. He rebounded a bit in the playoffs, where he gained another 5 points and was generally...alright. Rick has had a long standing, complicated relationship with the playoffs and this year was no different. As a positive however, he did indeed match his production from the year previous, so..progress?
Nash bowed out of Free Agency at the end of the season, sparking rumors that he may end up retiring.
Aggregate Grade: C
Nash’s grading and time spent are admittedly a bit of hindsight involved. Were he to finish the 2018 regular season while bringing that same level of skill and enthusiasm he came into the Black and Gold with and not get harmed along the way? I think he’d have had a much higher grade. As it was, he only made a moderate impact in showing what the Bruins could look like with a 2nd line RW, which seemed like a nice touch, but Nash’s decision to avoid the free agent frenzy may mean he’s calling it quits, which would be a shame. As a Right-Wing forward, he could probably still find himself a good contract.
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