Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced Thursday that former team captain Rick Nash has been hired as special assistant to the GM following his on-ice retirement in January.
“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. “He cares deeply about the Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus and will be a great addition to our organization.”
Nash spent the first nine seasons of his NHL career with the Blue Jackets, who selected him with the first overall pick in the 2002 draft.
The dynamic winger quickly established himself as one of the league’s most lethal shooters, scoring 41 goals during the 2003-04 season, his second year in Columbus.
He tallied 289 goals and 258 assists for 547 points in 674 regular-season games for the Jackets.
Nash, who also made stops with the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, returned to Columbus in January to be honored by the organization after his retirement.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “I had so many good times, so many good memories. Columbus has always had a soft spot in my heart. It’s nice to close out the career this way back in Columbus.”
The 34-year-old Ontario native’s resume includes six All-Star selections and a Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer during the 2003-04 campaign. He won two gold medals with the Canadian national team at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
He was forced to retire because of unresolved issues and symptoms related to a March 2018 concussion.