Rick Nash, a No. 1 overall N.H.L. draft pick and a star for the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Rangers, has retired because of concussion-related symptoms, his agent said Friday.
Nash, 34, trailed only Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Marleau with career goals 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,” his agent, Joe Resnick, said in a statement. “Under the advice of his medical team, the risk of further brain injury is far too great if Rick returns to play.”
The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Nash, from Brampton, Ontario, in the 2002 draft. He entered the league at 18 and spent the first nine seasons with the team. He remains the franchise’s career leader in goals and poibts. The Blue Jackets traded him to the 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, in March, though he did return for the playoffs. Another concussion, with the Rangers in 2013, forced him to miss six weeks.
Entering this season, he was a free agent but told teams at the start of free agency that he wasn’t yet ready to play.
He led the N.H.L. in goals with 41 in 2003-4 and tallied a career-high 42 goals in 2014-15. He also won Olympic gold medals with Canada in 2010 and 2014.
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