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Nash would consider returning to Bruins

Forward can be unrestricted free agent July 1; Bergeron hoping rest, not surgery, heals groin injury

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- Rick Nash, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, said he would be willing to return to the Boston Bruins.

The 33-year-old forward was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers on Feb. 25. He had six points (three goals, three assists) in 11 regular-season games and five points (three goals, two assists) in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He missed the final 12 games of the regular season because of a concussion but returned for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"It was disappointing with having the concussion and having some effects during it and only playing a certain amount of games and then coming back for the playoffs," Nash said Wednesday. "But everything was positive. The organization was great, the guys were awesome, so it was a great chapter here and hopefully it can continue."

Nash said he was impressed by the Bruins' veteran core and their young talent, and he predicted a bright future for the organization. As for what he's looking for with his next team, he has a couple priorities in mind.

"Obviously to win, that's No. 1," he said. "No. 2 is a good place to live, a good place that my family enjoys. And Boston's been great. It's been a pretty seamless transition for us, so everything was positive."

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The Bruins' five-game loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round took its toll. Defenseman Torey Krug fractured his left ankle in Game 4 and missed Game 5. He won't need surgery but will be in a boot for two months.

Forward David Backes sustained a concussion in Game 5 when he was hit by Lightning forward J.T. Miller with 7:45 left in the second period.

Other Bruins players were injured before the Lightning series. Center Patrice Bergeron said he played through a groin injury, which sidelined him five games in October. He's hoping a few weeks of rest will allow him to avoid surgery.

Forward Riley Nash played through a hip injury that he hopes will heal without surgery, and said he missed the final five games of the regular season and first two games of the playoffs because of a concussion.

Forward Jake DeBrusk (shoulder), defenseman Zdeno Chara (shoulder/finger) and forward Brad Marchand (groin) also are hoping to heal through rest rather than surgery.

One Bruins player who does need surgery is forward Noel Acciari, to repair a sports hernia/groin injury.

Forward Brian Gionta, 39, who signed with Boston on Feb. 25 after playing for the United States at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, said he hasn't decided on his future but continuing to play is an option. He had seven points (two goals, five assists) in 20 regular-season games but was a healthy scratch for 11 of 12 playoff games.

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