There has been some very concerning speculation the past few days regarding the health as well as the future of veteran forward Rick Nash.
It may sound like complete and utter madness to some but according to a report from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, a very reputable source especially on all matters Boston Bruins, there is serious conversation going on inside the Rick Nash camp regarding a potential retirement for the star forward. According to Dupont Nash has made it clear via his agent Joe Resnick that he is currently unsure whether or not he wants to continue his career in the National Hockey League, this despite the fact that he certainly would be able to do so while earning significant dollars should he choose to do so.
Nash has suffered a number of concussions during his career, including one recently as a member of the Bruins organization and there is some speculation that it is that very head trauma that is now giving him pause about returning for the third contract of his NHL career. More and more information has come out about the long term effects of repeated blows to the head, especially the kind of serious blows to the head that you can suffer when moving at high speeds in professional sports, and as more and more former NHL players come forward to take about the poor quality of life they have after leaving the game you can expect more and more players to take it into consideration. Nash is already a very wealthy man by anyone's standards and as a result he can afford to retire comfortably at this stage of his career, is the risk of suffering in his later years really worth the money he could earn on a new deal?
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney hinted at the fact that the ball is now in Nash's court.
“Whenever Rick makes his decision for his own future, umm . . . we’ll probably be open to continue [contract talks],” said Sweeney as per the Boston Globe. “The time’s in his court at this stage to initiate whatever talks he wants, wherever he wants to go. I think he strongly indicated that Boston would be a place he would consider, as would we.”
That of course will be a question that only Nash himself can answer at the end of the day and although there is now real concern about what he will do in the future there seems to be some confidence among NHL teams that he isn't done just yet. Just minutes ago TSN insider Darren Dreger reported that there remains "significant interest" in the veteran forward despite the fact that his agent has stated he may not return to the game.
According to Dreger there are currently 5 different NHL teams with interest in Nash and we have to assume that one of the 5 are the Boston Bruins, although the identity of the other 4 would be anyone's guess. There has been some speculation that Nash would prefer to return to the Columbus Blue Jackets organization and end his career there but no official word yet on whether or not there is any merit to those claims.
Photo Credit: Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/Zuma