Rick Nash's NHL playing career began with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002. His front office career began Thursday, with those same Blue Jackets, who 17 years ago made him the No. 1 overall draft pick.
Nash, 35, was named special assistant to general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. "Rick is the most decorated player in Blue Jackets history and was one of the game's most respected players during a career that included multiple All-Star Games, Olympic and World Championship gold medals and a Stanley Cup Final appearance," Kekalainen said in a statement.
"He cares deeply about the Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus and will be a great addition to our organization." A six-time All-Star, Nash retired in early January because of concussion-related symptoms.
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. Nash entered the league at 18 and spent the first nine seasons with the Blue Jackets. 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 2018.
It was with the Bruins that he sustained his most recent concussion, which occurred in a game in March 2018, 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. He led the NHL in goals with 41 in 2003-04 and tallied a career-high 42 goals in 2014-15.
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