Rick Nash excited to have jersey retired by Blue Jackets, hopes to be a GM one day

Rick Nash broke into the NHL as a kid with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Before they drop the puck against the Boston Bruins at home, they will retire Nash’s No. 61, the first number to be retired in franchise history to the rafters at Nationwide Arena.

“Columbus was always home,” Nash said via NHL.com. “I always loved Columbus. I always knew it’d be home. Columbus suits my style.”

Nash is Columbus’ career leader in games (674), goals (289), assists (258) and points (547). He played with the team from 2002-12.

Blue Jackets set to retire Rick Nash’s jersey

“This is incredibly exciting, not only for Rick and his family, but for our entire organization and our great fans,” Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson said in a news release back in November. “Only one player can be the first to have their jersey retired by a franchise and with everything that Rick has meant to the Blue Jackets it is fitting that he is the one.”

rick nash jersey retirement
Nov 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) is congratulated by teammates after a shoot out goal against the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Nash spent the first nine years of his NHL career with Columbus after the organization made him the first overall pick in the 2002 NHL Draft.

“Rick Nash was the face of our franchise and our best player for a decade and represented our club on and off the ice with excellence, class and humility,” Owner John P. McConnell said.

The left winger also spent six seasons with the New York Rangers before finishing his career with 11 games for Boston in 2017-18. He scored 437 goals in 1,060 games.

“I just feel like it’s such an individual thing, the single number going up. But I want to find a way to make this about the organization. This is a huge night for Columbus, the Blue Jackets, really anybody who has been part of my career. I want to get that across to people … (chuckling) and I’m going to try to keep it short.”

Rick Nash via The Athletic

Nash wants to be a GM

Rick Nash was recently on the 32 Thoughts Podcast speaking with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek. As he spoke about his future and his current role with Columbus as a special assistant to the GM he made it clear where he wants to go.

“I hope so, that’s why I want to take the long road to go through the different areas of an organization,” Nash answered a question if he wants to be a GM. “I truly believe I am learning from one of the best in Jarmo Kekäläinen. I look at him as a mentor. I am here to learn and grow with the Columbus Blue Jackets.”

–Field Level Media contributed to this report