Jan. 11 (UPI) — Former NHL forward and Columbus Blue Jackets great Rick Nash retired from the NHL on Friday after 15 seasons.
Nash’s representatives from Top Shelf Hockey released a statement on his behalf. The release cited Nash’s most recent concussion while playing for the Boston Bruins last March as the main reason for his retirement.
The 34-year-old forward opted to sit out the 2018 season in the hopes of improving his health and didn’t sign a contract as a free agent this past offseason.
“Due to unresolved issues/symptoms from the concussion sustained last March, Rick Nash will be forced to retire from the game of hockey,” representatives from Top Shelf Hockey said in a tweet. “Under the advice of his medical team, the risk of further brain injury is far too great if Rick returns to play. Rick would like to thank everyone who has supported him during this difficult time period.”
Statement on behalf of client Rick Nash: pic.twitter.com/DekEvhSevy
— Top Shelf Sports Management Inc. (@Topshelf_TSSM) January 11, 2019
Nash finished his NHL career with 805 points (437 goals and 368 assists) in 1,060 games, and had eight seasons as a 30-goal scorer. He spent time with the New York Rangers, Blue Jackets and Bruins in his professional career.
Nash had great success with the Blue Jackets, who selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NHL Draft. He leads the franchise in games played (674), goals scored (289), assists (258) and points (547).
Nash was a six-time All-Star, with five of those coming as a member of the Blue Jackets. He scored a franchise-record 41 goals in the 2003-04 season.
Columbus traded Nash to the Rangers prior to the 2012-13 season. He played in 375 games with New York and tallied 145 goals and 107 assists.
The Rangers moved on from Nash and traded him to Boston midway through the 2017-18 season. Nash played in 11 games and had six points (three goals and three assists) with the Bruins before his concussion issues sidelined him.