Former Ranger and current UFA Rick Nash has announced his retirement in a statement provided by his agent.
The statement reads that “due to unresolved issues/symptoms from the concussion sustained last March, 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.”
Nash played in 375 regular season games with the Rangers, scoring 145 goals and 107 assists.
He played in 73 playoff games for the Rangers, scoring 14 goals and 24 assists.
The Rangers acquired Nash in 2012 from Columbus in a deal centered around Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and a first round pick going to Columbus.
Nash was traded to Boston last summer in a deal that netted the Rangers a first round pick, prospect Ryan Lindgren and more.
The Rangers used that first round pick to move up and select K’Andre Miller.
Nash, 34, had reportedly drawn interest from multiple teams including Columbus, Pittsburgh, Toronto, San Jose and Boston. (Dreger)
Congrats to Rick Nash on a great career. Great guy!
— Tony DeAngelo (@TonyDee07) January 11, 2019
1060 games played…
And most importantly, as fine a gentleman as we have known…
Thank you Rick, for six great years with #NYR and a tremendous @NHL Career. pic.twitter.com/aaKozF6OT3
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 11, 2019
— Martin St.Louis (@mstlouis_26) January 11, 2019
Adam Rotter: This is sad as I long felt Nash had the ability to play late into his 30s because of his two-way game. This was supposed to be the time for Nash. His next contract was going to land him with a contender and in a role where he didn’t need to be the guy. San Jose, and finally playing with Joe Thornton in the NHL, made sense, the Pens always made sense, Mike Babcock loves Nash so he would have fit with the Leafs and then the big return to Columbus would have been nice. Instead, Nash’s career is cut a bit short due to concussions.
Nash dealt with multiple concussions during his time with the Rangers including missing 4 games in his first season in 2013 and then 17 in Alain Vigneault’s first season. He was a really good Ranger and while he had those playoff struggles, he was a big reason why they were playing in those games to begin with. Ultimately, Nash’s biggest impact on the Rangers could still be on the way. He was a leader and mentor to Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, Pavel Buchnevich was drafted with a pick that came over with Nash from Columbus and the sky seems like the limit for K’Andre Miller. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Nash return to the organization in some sort of management or consultant role down the line, but since he’s based in Columbus there is probably a better chance of it happening with the Blue Jackets.