Six-time NHL all-star Rick Nash has announced his retirement due to concussion symptoms.
His agency, Top Shelf Sports Management, made the announcement in a statement.
“Due to unresolved issues/symptoms from the concussion sustained last March, Rick Nash will be forced to retire from the game of hockey,” the statement reads. “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 time period.”
Nash last played for the Boston Bruins but opted not to sign a contract when he became an unrestricted free agent in the off-season.
The winger suffered a concussion at the end of March 2018 and missed the Bruins’ final 12 games of the season but he did return for the playoffs and played in all 12 of the Bruins’ post-season games.
But in June it was reported that Nash would not be fielding free agent offers while he continued his concussion recovery, despite contracts being on the table.
In October, Nash didn’t rule out returning to play in an interview with The Athletic.
“I miss it; I love the game,” Nash said in that interview. “The game has been my whole life, so it’s been a hard adjustment to not show up for training camp, for fitness testing … it’s been really tough.
“But my family is what’s most important to me, and I have to get my health in the right spot before I figure out what my plans are, and I don’t know when that will be.
“There’s a chance I could get healthy, come back and be great. But there’s definitely a chance that I don’t.”
Nash, 34, was taken first overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2002 NHL Draft and is that franchise’s all-time leader in every major offensive category.
In 1,060 NHL games with the Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Bruins, Nash scored 437 goals and 805 points.
In the 2003-04 season, Nash shared the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal-scorer with Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk when they each scored 41 goals.
Nash is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist, winning in 2010 and 2014 with Team Canada.