Rick Nash Retires

Rick Nash scored more goals (289), registered more points (547), and played in more games (647) in Columbus than any other player in Blue Jackets history. 

And today the 34-year-old winger announced his retirement following 15 seasons in the NHL, more than half of which were spent with the CBJ, the team that drafted him in 2002. 

Despite the fact that Nash's last game in Columbus was April 7, 2012, he still has some ties to the organization.

Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson said today that one of his first "holy crap" moments in the NHL was realizing Nash would be a teammate.

"He was the captain when I was here, so obviously I looked up to him," Atkinson said. "He was a guy that ruled Columbus. That guy couldn't go anywhere without being bombarded by fans, and whatnot."

Atkinson currently sits 120 goals shy of Nash's franchise record. 

"Just putting Columbus on the map started with Rick Nash," said Atkinson, who is still Nash's neighbor. 

Their time together with the organization ended following the 2011-12 season. Nash had requested to be dealt at the trade deadline, but GM Scott Howson waited until the offseason to swap him for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and Tim Erixon as well as a first round draft pick that the club used to take Kerby Rychel.

Initially, Nash's reception at Nationwide Arena as a visitor was mixed. Over time, though, fans came to appreciate what he had contributed in his time here. 

Nash was also a teammate of Riley Nash in Boston last season. 

"He's a great guy first and foremost," said Riley. 

That's an assessment shared by Columbus's John Tortorella, who was Nash's coach when both were with the New York Rangers. 

"I have nothing but true respect for that guy, both on and off the ice," Tortorella said. "Terrific player. Absolutely no maintenance to him."

Nash ends his career as a six-time NHL All-Star and a two-time winner of the gold medal with Team Canada in the Winter Olympics.