Longtime NHL winger Rick Nash retires because of concussion symptoms

TORONTO — Rick Nash has announced his retirement from hockey after suffering a concussion last March.

Top Shelf Hockey, which represents the 34-year-old winger from Brampton, Ont., put out a statement to announce his decision on Friday.

“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 says.

“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 finished his career by playing 11 games last season with the Boston Bruins, who acquired him in a trade-deadline deal with the New York Rangers.

The first overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nash played 1,060 NHL games over 15 seasons. He had 437 goals and 368 assists for 805 points.

The former London Knights junior star also was part of two Olympic gold medal-winning Canadian teams in 2010 in Vancouver and 2014 in Sochi.

Nash became a free agent last July 1 after his eight-year, $US62.4-million contract expired.

“Nasher’s a good guy,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “I’ve talked to him a fair bit here over time. It’s disappointing for him, obviously, but with a family priorities are priorities.

“I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a good man and we wish him well.”

— with files from Joshua Clipperton

The Canadian Press

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