Former No. 1 overall NHL draft pick and six-time All-Star Rick Nash has retired because of concussion-related symptoms, his agent said Friday.
FILE PHOTO: Apr 28, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA;Boston Bruins left wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates as he scores a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of game one of the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Until his retirement, Nash trailed only Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Marleau with career goals scored among active players with 437. He also had 368 assists in 1,060 career games.
“Due to unresolved issues/symptoms from the concussion sustained last March, Rick Nash will be forced to retire from the game of hockey. Under the advice of his medical team, the risk of further brain injury is far too great if Rick returns to play,” agent Joe Resnick said in a statement. “Rick would like to thank everyone who has supported him during this difficult time period.”
The Columbus Blue Jackets selected the Canadian in 2002. He entered the league at 18 and spent the first nine seasons with the team. The Blue Jackets traded him to the New York Rangers in 2012, where he spent six seasons, and he also played 11 games with the Boston Bruins in 2018 after being traded there in February.
It was with the Bruins that he sustained his most recent concussion, which occurred in a game in March, though he did return for the playoffs. He reportedly suffered several concussions during his career, including one that forced him to miss six weeks in 2013.
Entering this season, he was a free agent after the end of his eight-year, $62.4 million contract signed with Columbus.
Now 34, he told teams at the start of free agency that he wasn’t yet ready to play.
He led the NHL in goals with 41 in 2003-04 and tallied a career-high 42 goals in 2014-15.
The Brampton, Ontario, native also won Olympic gold medals with Canada in 2010 and 2014.
—Field Level Media