The Maple Leafs added forward depth for the playoffs by trading for Columbus Blue Jackets veteran Riley Nash on Friday.
The 31-year-old Nash went on injured reserve this week with a sprained knee and is not expected to be ready to play until the post-season, which starts May 11.
In return, the Leafs send the Jackets a seventh-round draft pick — upgraded to a sixth-rounder if Nash appears in 25 per cent of the Leafs’ playoff games this year.
The Leafs see Nash, who has seven points in 37 games this year, as bottom-six depth when healthy. But the deal appears to have another benefit.
The club has reportedly placed Nash and his $2.75-million (U.S.) salary-cap hit on long-term injured reserve, which frees up cap space for other moves leading up to Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.
Nash has played in 578 NHL games with Carolina, Columbus and Boston, with 63 goals and 109 assists. He also has two goals and six assists in 32 Stanley Cup post-season games — including series against the Leafs with the Blue Jackets and Bruins.
Also Friday, the Leafs placed goalie Frederik Andersen on the long-term injured list retroactively. He hasn’t played since March 19 and there have been no reports of him skating since then. His stay on the list could be short, however, depending on the retroactive date.