Con­cus­sions force Nash to re­tire from NHL after 15 sea­sons

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT -

Rick Nash, a twotime Olympic ice hockey cham­pion for Canada, re­tired from the NHL yesterday, forced to end his ca­reer after 15 sea­sons due to con­cus­sion-re­lated is­sues.

The 34-year-old left wing from sub­ur­ban Toronto, the top 2002 NHL Draft se­lec­tion by Colum­bus, spent nine sea­sons with the Blue Jack­ets and most of six more with the New York Rangers be­fore playing his fi­nal 11 games with Bos­ton last sea­son.

He was with the Bru­ins last March when he was struck in the head by Tampa Bay’s Cedric Pa­que­tte, the last of sev­eral con­cus­sions Nash suf­fered in his ca­reer, in­clud­ing one that forced him out for 17 games in the 2013-14 cam­paign. “Due to un­re­solved is­sues/symp­toms from the con­cus­sion sus­tained last March, Rick Nash will be forced to re­tire from the game of hockey,” said a state­ment from Top Shelf Hockey, Nash’s agents. “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 pe­riod.”

Nash, who also played for Swiss side Davos dur­ing NHL lock­outs in 200405 and 2012-13, helped Canada cap­ture Olympic gold at the 2010 Van­cou­ver and 2014 Sochi Winter Games as well as a world ti­tle in 2007.

Nash fin­ished with 437 goals and 368 as­sists in 1,060 NHL games as well as 18 goals and 28 as­sists in 89 play­off con­tests. After last sea­son, Nash ranked third among ac­tive NHL goal scor­ers, trail­ing only Rus­sian star Alex Ovechkin of the Stan­ley Cup cham­pion Washington Capi­tals and Pa­trick Mar­leau of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Nash re­mains the all-time Blue Jack­ets leader with 289 goals, 258 as­sists and 674 games played and won the Rocket Richard Tro­phy as the NHL’s top goal scorer with 41 in the 2003-04 sea­son.

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