The “Other” Bruins center could mean a couple of players. Gregory Campbell was a free agent signing by the Blue Jackets in 2015, and he fared pretty well in his one season with the club. But in this case, we’re talking about the signing made in the summer of 2018: Riley Nash.
A veteran center and former first round pick, Nash was coming off of a 15 goal, 41 point season with the Boston Bruins and was looking to cash in. The fit was obvious for the Blue Jackets, who inked the right hand shooting center to a three year, $8.25m deal.
While his production was never very good, Nash provided the Blue Jackets with a quality depth center, who took on the tough defensive assignments and gave the team safe minutes. In three years with the club, he would play in 179 games in Union Blue, scoring 10 goals and 33 points.
Often playing like a third defenseman on the ice, Nash went about his job quietly and did all of the little things well. It’s safe to say, you rarely noticed him out there … for better or worse. He just consistently made the safe plays and went about his business. He was a favorite of John Tortorella and was a key part of the fourth line that helped the club sweep the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2019.
Nash was eventually traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2021 trade deadline, in exchange for a conditional 7th round pick. That pick became a 6th rounder once Nash played in half of Toronto’s playoff games … and was then dealt this past deadline to Florida in the trade that sent Max Domi to Carolina, in exchange for prospect Aidan Hreschuk. The fact that Nash is included on this list makes it evident that the Blue Jackets typically aren’t big free agent spenders. But make no mistake – this was a deal that worked out well for both sides.