At this time of the hockey calendar, everyone is dealing with something.
A nagging injury, an accumulation of nicks and bruises, you name it. But there are also injuries sustained that are just too severe to play through, which was the case for Blue Jackets center Riley Nash. Signed as a free agent last summer, the early part of 2018-19 was a feeling-out process for Nash with his new team, and at times, it was a struggle to see where he fit in the lineup.
But when the Stanley Cup Playoffs rolled around, he found his role and he found his game. Nash was a crucial part of a fourth line that quickly earned the trust of head coach John Tortorella in the playoffs, and made an impact in the Blue Jackets' first-round sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nash and line mates Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner played as many as 18 minutes in some of those games before Nash was sidelined due to an injury in the second round against Boston.
Nash said the shoulder injury started with the Zdeno Chara hit in Game 2. An accumulation of hits then put him out. He took a huge hit from Charlie McAvoy as well.— Tom Reed (@treed1919) May 8, 2019
The Blue Jackets missed Nash in their lineup. They dressed 11 forwards for Game 5 and used a hodgepodge deployment in Game 6 that just didn't work out.
Typically, such an injury would require a 4-to-6 week recovery period, Nash said during Wednesday's exit interviews at Nationwide Arena, but in order to get back into the series it would've been far more expedited. He was attempting to play on a month-plus injury after only a few days of recovery.
On top of all this, Nash is getting married this summer. He enters 2019-20 in the second year of a three-year contract that pays him $2.85 million annually.