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Blue Jackets set to retire Nash's jersey
The Columbus Blue Jackets are all set to retire former star Rick Nash’s no. 61 jersey in the 2021-22 season. The date is set for March 5th before their game against the Boston Bruins at Nationwide Arena. They want to honour the star’s success for the club over the years.
Nash is the first Blue Jackets star to get the honour of having his jersey retired by the team. He ended his career in the 2018-19 season and was an icon for them. He led the team in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258), and points (547).
The former star was then named as the Blue Jackets’ director of player development in June 2021. He spent two seasons as a special assistant as well. This honour was a shock to him and he never saw it coming.
‘I don't even know what to say’, Nash said. ‘Thank you to the Jackets organization. It was tough when I got traded from here. It wasn't even very fun coming back but I knew in my heart I was always a Blue Jacket. This is a huge deal and I hope you Blue Jackets players enjoy wearing the jersey as much as I did’.
Nash came into the team as the no. 1 pick by the Blue Jackets in the 2002 NHL Draft. The star scored 39 points off 17 goals, 22 dimes in 74 games during his rookie season in 2002-03 to finish third in voting for the Calder Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year.
He scored at least 30 goals in seven of his nine seasons with the team and even won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s top scorer in the 2003-04 season. He had a total of 41 goals in 80 games during that run.
Nash is the face of the franchise and is seen as the best player for a decade. He pushed the Blue Jackets to success with his strong plays and knack for scoring the goal. The team believes that he deserves this honour more than any other star simply because of his impact. Maybe he can set the bar and inspire a lot of players.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores