Rick Nash forced to retire because of lingering issues from concussion

Rick Nash, a  six-time NHL All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist, announced his retirement Friday because of lingering issues from a concussion sustained last spring.

Nash, 34, cited the advice of his medical team in making the announcement via a statement by his agent.

Joe Resnick wrote, in part: “Due to unresolved issues/symptoms from the concussion sustained last March, Rick Nash will be forced to retire from the game of hockey. … (T)he risk of further brain injury is far too great if Rick returns to play.”

According to TSN, a handful of teams — the Maple Leafs, Sharks, Blue Jackets, Bruins and Penguins — had checked on Nash’s status over the past few months.

Acquired by the Bruins from the Rangers ahead of last spring’s trade deadline, Nash suffered a concussion in a March 17 road game against the Lightning and ended up missing the final 12 games of the regular season. However, he was able to return for the postseason, scoring three goals and adding two assists in 12 games for Boston.

Nash suffered at least four concussions in his career, according to CBS 4 in Boston, including one in the 2013 season that caused him to miss more than a month of action.

A rugged 6-4, 210-pound winger, Nash was the first overall pick in the 2002 draft by Columbus and played 15 NHL seasons, mostly with the Blue Jackets and Rangers.

In 1,060 games he scored 437 goals and had 368 assists. He also logged 750 penalty minutes.

In only his second season in the league, Nash won the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2003-04 as the league’s top goal-scorer with 41, including a league-best 19 on the power play, in 80 games.

A a native of Brampton, Ontario, he played in three Olympics beginning in 2006, winning gold with Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Games. He had two goals and five assists for Team Canada.