He wasn’t the sole reason the franchise didn’t get sold during the early 2000’s. But he sure was a big part of it.
Rick Nash is the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise leader in games played, points, goals and assists. He was a 5x all-star while with the team, won the Rocket Richard award during his sophomore season and took the club to its first ever Stanley Cup playoff birth.
Nash gave NINE great seasons to a franchise that didn’t give much talent to help him back, and for that, he deserves praise.
With his retirement being announced on Friday, we’d like to take a trip down memory lane and highlight the five of the best Rick Nash moments during his tenure with the Blue Jackets.
And yes, there is a particular order.
5. First NHL goal (In his first game)
Welcome to the NHL, Rick Nash.
At the tender age of 18, Nash jumped into an undesirable situation which was only two years removed from expansion Columbus Blue Jackets. But he made an impact right away, scoring a goal in his first regular season game on October 10, 2002 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
#4 2008 All-Star game
A record that still holds today is Rick Nash scoring the fastest goal in NHL all-star game history, just 12 seconds in.
Oh yeah, he also ended the game with a hat trick. But didn't win the All-Star game MVP.
We can still be bitter.
#3 First playoff goal
After falling down 0-3 in a series against the absolute powerhouse that was the late 2000’s Detroit Red Wings, Nash finally got his footing under him and recorded his first playoff goal.
The Jackets got swept in this series, but can you blame them when you look at the team they were playing?
#2 “The Goal”
In almost every NHL all-time highlight goal compilations that you can search on YouTube, this Rick Nash goal will very likely be present. Also, what a call by Jeff Rimer.
Still arguably the flashiest goal in club history and of his career, this was a signature moment that emphasized the scoring threat that Rick Nash truly was.
I mean seriously, seven of his nine season with the Jackets, he had 30+ goals. Come on.
#1 The Playoff Birth Goal
This absolutely should be Rick Nash’s best moment, but not many may remember it.
That last goal against the Phoenix Coyotes was enough to make everyone’s jaw drop while watching it on their first generation iPhones, but this goal against the Chicago Blackhawks was one of the sweetest moments in club history.
On April 8th, 2009, Nash scored this late goal against the Blackhawks to eventually send the game into extra time, where the Jackets would clinch their first ever Stanley Cup playoff birth.
Nash’s reaction says it all. He knows what he just did for the organization. Seven straight years of no postseason hockey was all forgotten in a moment.
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