By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Pending unrestricted free agent winger Rick Nash certainly has options this offseason.
The Boston Bruins have a definite interest in bringing Nash back for another go with the B’s, especially after swinging and missing on Ilya Kovalchuk. But the Bruins are in a holding pattern until they figure out where they stand with potential free agent John Tavares, with whom they’ll meet later this week in Los Angeles. The Columbus Blue Jackets, Nash’s first team and the team he captained from 2008 until his trade to the Rangers in 2012, have also shown an interest.
Slated to become a free agent for the first time in his 15-year NHL career, Nash is weighing all his possibilities.
But the most surprising among those options for the 34-year-old winger? Retirement.
The possibility of retirement likely comes as a result of Nash’s concussion woes — he’s had multiple concussions in his career, and missed almost a month after his last one, suffered in a Mar. 17 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning — and first came to light after Bruins general manager Don Sweeney’s meeting with the media last weekend after the 2018 NHL Draft.
“We’ve had great communication with Rick and his representatives,” Sweeney, who traded five assets for Nash last deadline, said in Dallas. “We’ll continue to do that and whenever Rick makes his decision for his own future, we’ll probably be open to continuing those. The time is in his court and stage to initiate whatever talks he wants, wherever he wants to go.”
But even with his noteworthy concussion issues, retirement is probably towards the bottom of Nash’s preferences this summer, as he would like at least one more run at capturing the first Stanley Cup of his career.
That makes Boston a viable option should they continue to miss and lose out on adding Tavares to the fold.
“I think [Nash] strongly indicated that Boston is a place that he would consider, as would we,” Sweeney noted. “We have some business to attend to. The timing of his decision may or may not line up, but obviously we’ll be in touch with his camp.”
At the same time, Columbus is a dual threat of sorts, as it’s where Nash spent the majority of his career, and where John Tortorella (who coached Nash in New York in a 2012-13 season that saw produce at a near point-per-game pace) coaches.
Nash scored three goals and six points in 11 regular-season games with the Bruins, and added three goals and five points in 12 postseason contests. A veteran of 1,060 regular-season games between the Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, and Bruins, Nash has tallied 437 goals and 805 points in his career, and has added 18 goals and 28 assists in 89 career playoff games.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.