Longtime NHL winger Rich Nash retires because of concussion symptoms

Silvia Morton
January 12, 2019

Following consultation with doctors, the 34-year-old chose to quit sport to avoid possible brain injury which concussion-related complications might provoke.

"Due to unresolved issues from the concussion sustained last March, Rick Nash will be forced to retire from the game of hockey", the statement says. "Under the advice of his medical team, the risk of further brain injury is far too great if Rick returns to play".

An eight-time 30-goal scorer, Nash had 805 points (437 goals, 368 assists) in 1,060 NHL games with the Bruins, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets, who selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NHL Draft. He sustained a concussion shortly after the trade and scored three goals and six points in 11 regular-season games. Boston was eliminated in the second round. The concussion, however, short circuited a deal that both sides were excited about making.

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But in June it was reported that Nash would not be fielding free agent offers while he continued his concussion recovery, despite contracts being on the table. "I miss it, I love the game", Nash said.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, and Pittsburgh Penguins were reportedly among the teams interested in signing Nash this season. There's a chance I could get healthy, come back and be great. Milan Lucic was responsible for one of them, via a 2013 check into the glass during Nash's time with the Rangers. His 674 regular-season games with the Blue Jackets remains a franchise record, and he's the runaway leader in almost every scoring category by a wide margin.

There had been speculation that Nash would sit out the summer free-agency frenzy and return to the National Hockey League later in the season, perhaps when there was more clarity on which teams were contending for the Stanley Cup. Nash, a big-bodied power forward with deft scoring skills, represented Canada twice at the Olympics, winning a gold medal in Vancouver in 2010 and striking gold again in Sochi in 2014.

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