As most National Hockey League pending free agents are busily meeting with teams and talking to their respective agents to find a new club for the upcoming season, veteran winger Rick Nash has made a shocking move as the opening of free agency approaches.
According to his agent Joe Resnick who informed TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, Nash is undecided on continuing his playing career and will forego the July 1 signing period.
Earlier this week, Dreger had reported that at least five teams had been pursuing the winger, but they have since been informed of his decision. While the choice by Nash is sure to shock many people around the league, it is a very classy move by the veteran player who knows teams need to make quick decisions, especially at this time during the offseason.
The 34-year-old veteran managed to tally 21 goals and tallied 13 assists over 71 games with the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins last season. He landed with the Bruins from New York at the trade deadline for Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren, a 2018 first-round pick and a 2019 seventh-round pick. Nash, however, sustained a concussion shortly after the trade and commented on his condition after his 15th year in the NHL.
“It was disappointing with having the concussion and having some effects during it and only playing a certain amount of games and then coming back for the playoffs,” Nash when the Bruins were eliminated from the postseason. “But everything was positive. The organization was great, the guys were awesome, so it was a great chapter here and hopefully it can continue.”
He scored three goals and added two assists in 12 postseason games for the Bruins.
The Bruins were believed to be looking to replace Nash this offseason when they entered the running for Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuyk. However, Kovalchuk’s agent, J.P. Barry, used Patrick Marleau’s three-year, $18.75 contract with Toronto from last summer as a comparable, and the Los Angeles Kings agreed to present him with the same deal on Saturday. The Bruins did not.
Boston could be interested in bringing back Nash for an additional season, however, the veteran forward will need to make a decision first on whether or not he wants to pursue a professional hockey career.