Blue Jackets Sign Versatile Forward Riley Nash to a Three-Year Deal Worth $2.75 Million Annually

By Rob Mixer on July 1, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Riley Nash, who signed with the Blue Jackets as a free agent on Sunday afternoon.

Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

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The Blue Jackets struck on Day 1 of the NHL's free agency period.

While many of the top targets fell off the board early – including the blockbuster signing of John Tavares by the Toronto Maple Leafs – the Blue Jackets were never going to do big-game hunting.

What they did do, however, was wait patiently and find a deal that made sense. They signed veteran forward Riley Nash to a three-year deal worth a reported $2.75 million annually, as first reported by TSN's Darren Dreger.

The Blue Jackets confirmed the signing just before 5 p.m. ET Sunday.

"Riley Nash is right-handed center who showed great versatility in having the best season of his career last year. He plays a very sound two-way game, will provide depth for our club down the middle," Kekalainen said in a team release.

Nash, 29, took a step forward during his time with the Boston Bruins over the last few years. Originally a first-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2007, Nash went to the Carolina Hurricanes and then to Boston where his career got traction.

He scored a career-high 15 goals and totaled 41 points in 2017-18 and gives the Blue Jackets some flexibility; he has the ability to play wing or center and can play in a variety of situations. 

After seeing Matt Calvert depart to Colorado on a three-year deal worth more money annually, GM Jarmo Kekalainen is coming out looking pretty good here with the Nash contract. 

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