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Former Bruin Rick Nash is retiring because of concussion-related issues

(Barry Chin/Globe Staff file)

Former Bruins right wing Rick Nash is retiring because of concussion-related issues, his representatives announced Friday.

Nash, 34, was one of the game’s premier forwards at his peak, but head injuries marred the second half of his 15-year NHL career, which finished with an 11-game stint in Boston last spring (plus 12 games in the playoffs).

The No. 1 overall pick in 2002 by Columbus, Nash won a goal-scoring title (41) as a 19-year-old in 2004 and hit the 40-goal mark three times. He finished with 437 goals and 805 points in 1,060 games. He was third among active players in goals when he retired, behind Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Marleau.

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“Due to unresolved issues/symptoms from the concussion sustained last March, Rick Nash will be forced to retire from the game of hockey,” his agent, Joe Resnick, said in a statement. “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.”

The Bruins hoped Nash would be a fit on David Krejci’s flank when they acquired him from the Rangers last Feb. 25 for Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, prospect Ryan Lindgren, a first-round pick in the upcoming draft (later dealt to Ottawa; became defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker) and a seventh-rounder in 2019.

Nash (3-3—6 in the regular season) produced a 3-2—5 line in the postseason, and sustained a concussion in March. He also had one in 2013, as a member of the Rangers.

Nash, who was an unrestricted free agent, contemplated returning to either Boston or Columbus, where he had signed the last deal of his career (eight years, $62.4 million) and was the former expansion franchise’s first superstar.


Follow Matt Porter on Twitter at @mattyports

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