Despite receiving strong interest from multiple teams, Rick Nash plans to sit out the start of NHL free agency on July 1 as he ponders whether or not continue his career.
The 34-year-old Nash suffered a concussion after being traded by the Rangers to the Bruins late last season, and had multiple concussions in his career. At the team’s break up day after being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Lightning, Nash spoke about the possibility of retiring.
On Thursday, Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick, told various news outlets that Nash will evaluate his future and not solicit offers from teams when the signing period begins on Sunday.
“He’s not ready to make a decision and teams need answers for personnel decisions,” Resnick told Chris Johnston. “He wants to be fair to the teams.”
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Resnick later told ESPN.com, “Rick has the utmost ethics and integrity. We turned down a lot of money. Let’s put it that way.”
Although Nash recently told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman “my main goal is to win the Cup”, it is clear the intelligent, thoughtful veteran has bigger issues at play in deciding his future. Nash and his wife are expecting their second child, making his health even more of a priority.
A bull of a power forward at the height of his career, Nash suffered a concussion during the 2015-16 season while playing for the Rangers. With a certain tentativeness upon his return, Nash finished with only 15 goals in 60 games that season after scoring 42 the previous year. He followed with 23 and 21 goals the past two season, and has 437 in his career.
The 2002 first-overall pick by the Blue Jackets, Nash became a solid two-way forward the past several years after initially scoring 30 or more goals in seven of his first nine NHL seasons. Combining that two-way skill with respected quiet leadership attracted at least five suitors this offseason, according to reports, as Nash became a free agent for the first time in his career. Last weekend, at the NHL Draft in Dallas, Bruins GM Don Sweeney expressed interest in re-signing Nash.
The list of top-end unrestricted free agent forwards is not a deep one, becoming even more shallow with Thursday’s news.