While he was never truly appreciated when he was a New York Ranger, Rick Nash was more than a good hockey player.
After much speculation earlier in the season, former Columbus Blue Jacket, New York Ranger, and Boston Bruin Rick Nash has decided to retire. Apparently, Nash, 34, is retiring due to issues and symptoms he is having from a concussion he sustained back on March 17 in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning while a member of the Bruins.
Brain injuries are no joke so Nash is definitely making the right decision. He has a young family at home and while hockey has always been his career, taking care of his family is much more important.
While I am sure that some Blueshirt fans could care less, we really should acknowledge that Nash had a more than solid career. In fact, it could be said that he was one of the league’s best power forwards in the league at one point in time.
Clearly, when on top of his game, he could put the puck in the net. He finished his career with 437 goals and cracked the 40-goal mark on three separate occasions (2003-04, 2008-09, 2014-15), and the 30-goal mark eight times. Speaking of scoring 30 goals, he did seven times in his first nine seasons, including a run of five consecutive seasons.
For awhile, he was actually one of the league’s most consistent goal scorers. Like it did too many star players, that seemed to stop once he went to the Rangers. Yes, he scored 42 goals (a career high) with the club in 2014-15, but other than that season, he never scored more than 26 goals.
Nash was also someone who was extremely potent on the power play. He scored 111 goals on the PP and finished with a total of 232 PP points. With the man advantage, Nash could beat opponents in a variety of ways whether it was with his shot, his ability to deflect pucks in front of the net, as well as his vision to set up his teammates.
Nash turned into a great two-way player, especially when he came to the Rangers. Prior to joining the Rangers, he was known as a one-dimensional players with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Yes, he put up a lot of points, but defensively, he certainly did not stand out.
That all changed on Broadway. He was known for being able to break up passes, block shots, and kill penalties the right way. This helped him to become a valuable member of the Rangers, whether fans liked him or not.
This was a good hockey player, folks. Nash worked hard, earned his success in his league, and should retire knowing that he accomplished a lot in this league.
It is time for us to recognize that and more when it comes to Nash.