Rick Nash Gets Contract Extension
Now the Blue Jackets' captain, Nash has blossomed into one of the best players in the NHL. Coming off the team's first-ever appearance (albeit a short one) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Nash was about to enter his final season before unrestricted free agency. Instead, he's become the highest-paid player in franchise history.
Reports out of Columbus have Nash agreeing to an eight-year extension with the team. The deal is worth $62.4 million, or an cap hit of $7.8 million per season.
Nash led the team with 40 goals during the regular season, and he is now six short of 200 for his NHL career. Naming him captain wasn't just a symbolic move by Columbus. Nash has become the leader of the team, both on and off the ice. If the Blue Jackets continue to improve, he will be a legitimate candidate for the Hart Trophy.
Not only is this good news for Nash, but it's great news for Columbus. The Blue Jackets finally have energized their fanbase in Ohio. Despite some struggles selling out games during their first run to the playoffs, fans were clearly into this team and the fact they were able to make the postseason.
Nash is their best and most popular player. Ensuring his presence with the team for the forseeable future will only help the Blue Jackets, as they try to parlay their playoff appearance into increased relevance in this growing hockey city.