The Columbus Blue Jackets will be raising Rick Nash’s No. 61 to the rafters on March 5. Nash will become the first player in franchise history to have his jersey number retired and it will just happen to be when the Blue Jackets are facing the team he finished his career with. The Boston Bruins will be present for the ceremony, a team that Nash played just 23 games for before hanging up his skates in 2018.
The franchise leader in games played, goals, assists, and points, Nash is the first player that comes to mind when many picture the Columbus organization. He currently serves as the team’s director of player development and is involved heavily in the front office, as he continues on his post-playing career.
- If Nash was the most talented goal scorer in Columbus history, Patrik Laine might already be number two. The enigmatic forward has been on an absolute tear lately, including scoring two goals last night. One of those was another overtime winner, marking the sixth time he’s scored the game-winning goal this season. Through 31 games, Laine has 18 goals and 35 points, showing exactly why he was selected second overall in 2016. That outstanding play is coming at the perfect time for the 23-year-old Finn, who is set to become an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent in the offseason. Aaron Portzline of The Athletic recently asked Laine if he would be open to signing a long-term contract, to which he responded “of course” and that he likes everything about Columbus.
- The Blue Jackets have placed Joonas Kospisalo on injured reserve retroactive to February 15, meaning they’ll hit the road with Elvis Merzlikins, Jean-Francois Berube, and Jet Greaves. Berube was excellent again last night, stopping 39 of 42 shots from the Toronto Maple Leafs to earn his second win in as many games. This latest issue for Korpisalo only complicates his position as a trade deadline target, though likely not as much as his inconsistent play this season. The 27-year-old pending UFA has an .887 save percentage 18 appearances.