Blue Jackets name ex-captain Rick Nash special assistant to GM


In this 2012 file photo, former Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash (61) watches a faceoff. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Rick Nash is now the Dwight Schrute to Jarmo Kekalainen’s Michael Scott.

The former Columbus Blue Jackets captain has been named special assistant to the general manager, the team announced Thursday.

“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 press release. “He cares deeply about the Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus and will be a great addition to our organization.”

Nash announced his retirement from professional hockey in January after he was unable to return from lingering concussion symptoms. He spent 674 games with the Blue Jackets, registering 289 goals and 547 points after being drafted first overall in 2002.

The 34-year-old should be rather busy aiding Kekalainen this summer as the team may need to significantly retool a roster that has several high-profile pending unrestricted free agents, including goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and star forwards Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene.

The team also announced several other promotions: Bill Zito was promoted to senior vice president of hockey operations, associate GM and alternate governor; Basil McRae and Josh Flynn were both promoted to assistant GM; Chris Clark is now director of player personnel.

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