After 15 NHL seasons, Rick Nash has announced his retirement.
Nash, 34, announced his decision in a statement on Friday morning through his agent Joe Resnick.
"Due to unresolved issues/symptoms from the concussions sustained last March, Rick Nash will be forced to retire from the game of hockey," the statement read. "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 became a free agent on July 1, but chose not to sign with any teams as he weighed his options for the future. According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins were among the teams checking in on his status over the past few months.
The Brampton, Ont., native was drafted first-overall by Columbus in 2002 and played 1,060 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, scoring 437 goals and tallying 805 points.
Nash scored 21 goals and tallied 13 assists over 71 games with the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins last season.
The Bruins acquired him from the Rangers at the trade deadline last February for Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren, a 2018 first-round pick and a 2019 seventh-round pick. He sustained a concussion shortly after the trade and scored three goals and six points in 11 regular-season games. He also scored three goals and added two assists in 12 playoff games.
Nash was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist with Team Canada, a six-time NHL All-Star and co-winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy for the 2003-04 season.
Nash spent nine seasons with the Blue Jackets and is the franchise's all-time leader in goals (289), assists (258), points (547) and games played (674).