The Blue Jackets Will Retire Rick Nash's Jersey, As No. 61 Is Set to Go to the Rafters at Nationwide Arena

By 1OB Staff on November 11, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Former Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash salutes the crowd at Nationwide Arena along with wife, Jessica and two children.
Columbus Blue Jackets
1 Comment

No. 61 is going to the rafters at Nationwide Arena.

The Blue Jackets announced Thursday that they will officially retire Rick Nash's jersey during a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, Mar. 5 vs. the Boston Bruins.

It will be a special night for a special player – one unlike the franchise has ever seen. He will be the first player in Blue Jackets history to have his jersey retired.

"Rick Nash was the face of our franchise and our best player for a decade and represented our club on and off the ice with excellence, class and humility," said Blue Jackets Majority Owner John P. McConnell. "No one is more deserving of this honor than he and we are looking forward to celebrating Rick and his family in what will be a historic and memorable night for all of us on March 5th."

Nash's journey started with his NHL debut Oct. 10, 2002 against the Chicago Blackhawks, a tall and wiry 18-year-old who just completed a decorated junior hockey career with the OHL's London Knights (where his jersey hangs in the rafters today). He scored a goal in that game as the Blue Jackets defeated Chicago, 2-1, and finished with 17 goals in his rookie campaign.

The following year, though, was Nash's coming-out party.

By that point, he was a budding superstar and put up a 41-goal season that earned a share of the Rocket Richard Trophy, with Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers. He became the youngest player (19 years old) in NHL history to lead the league in goals.

Nash was a 30-goal scorer seven times during his Blue Jackets career, and signed two contracts totaling a 13-year commitment to the franchise (first, a five-year, $27 million deal in 2005 and an eight-year, $62.4 million deal in 2009). In 2008-09, he was named captain and helped lead the Blue Jackets to their first Stanley Cup playoffs appearance in franchise history – which included the game-tying goal late in regulation at United Center on Apr. 9, 2009 against the Blackhawks, in a game that would clinch the spot.

During that season, Nash was unquestionably the Blue Jackets' most important player not named Steve Mason. The Blue Jackets saw more franchise (and league) history that season from Nash; he was the first player since 1948 to score three unassisted goals in the same game when he did so on Mar. 7, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

On top of that, there were countless highlights and memories from the franchise's most decorated player.


Say no more. It's a classic.


Pardon the video quality. It was 2007, after all.


Yeah, this is filthy.


It was only a matter of time.


Like a header in the box. Except, maybe better?


You'll never forget it.


Here's a compilation, because there are too many. Nine of the 10 are from his Blue Jackets days, so there's that.

Congratulations to the best player to ever wear the Blue Jackets sweater. It will be an emotional and rousing evening at Nationwide Arena, and we can't wait.

1 Comment
View 1 Comments