COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed team captain Rick Nash to an eight-year contract extension that begins in 2010-11 and continues through the 2017-18 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Scott Howson announced tonight. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
"Rick is a Blue Jacket. He is our captain, the foundation of our team and one of the elite players in the National Hockey League and we are very happy that he will continue to call Columbus home for many years to come," said Howson. "This is an important and exciting day for our franchise and our fans."
Nash, 25, is the Blue Jackets' all-time leader in goals and points having registered 194 goals and 161 assists for 355 points in 441 career games. Last season, he collected 40-39-79 with 52 penalty minutes and a +11 plus/minus rating to lead the club in goals for the fifth-straight season and points for the second year in a row, while finishing the season tied for fifth in the NHL in goals and 18th in points. His point and assist totals were career highs and his goal total was one shy of the career-high 41 he scored in 2003-04.
Nash also posted a career-best +11 plus/minus rating in 2008-09, led the club with a career-high five shorthanded goals and was among the league leaders in shots on goal (263) and ice time among forwards (21:09 per game). He collected two hat tricks - January 27 vs. Detroit and March 7 at Detroit. In the latter, he became the first player to score three unassisted goals since Montreal's "Rocket" Richard on Mar. 14, 1948 vs. the NY Rangers. At last month's NHL Awards, he was named the winner of the NHL Foundation Player Award in recognition of his charitable work and commitment to the community.
The Brampton, Ontario native was the first overall pick by Columbus at the 2002 Entry Draft and he went on to tally 17-22-39 in 74 games in 2002-03. He earned NHL All-Rookie honors and was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's rookie of the year. In 2003-04, he became the youngest player in NHL history to lead the league in goals as he notched 41-16-57 in 80 games and shared the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal scorer with Calgary's Jarome Iginla and Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk. That year, he also appeared in the first of four consecutive All-Star Games.
In 2005-06, he notched 31-23-54 in 54 games despite missing 28 contests due to injury. Over the next three seasons, he increased his point production in each as he collected 27-30-57 in 75 games in 2006-07, 38-31-69 in 80 games in 2007-08 and 40-39-79 in 78 outings a year ago. He represented the Blue Jackets at the All-Star Game in each of those seasons and has collected 6-4-10 in his four All-Star Game appearances.
In addition to his accomplishments with the Blue Jackets, Nash has become a fixture for Team Canada in international competition. In 2006, he made his debut at the Olympic Games in Turin, Italy and is among 46 players who have been invited to attend the Canadian National Team Orientation Camp in August. He has also played in the 2005 (silver medal; All-Tournament Team), 2007 (gold medal; Tournament MVP) and 2008 (silver medal, All-Tournament Team) World Championships, as well as the 2002 World Junior Championships (silver medal).
Season tickets for the 2009-10 season are on sale now with prices starting at $18 per game. In addition, 10- and 20-Game packages for 2009-10 are also on sale. For information, call (800) NHL-COLS or visit BlueJackets.com.