Franchise icon Rick Nash joins Blue Jackets' front office
Andy Devlin / National Hockey League / Getty

The Columbus Blue Jackets named former captain Rick Nash as a special assistant to the general manager Thursday.

Nash retired from his playing career in January due to unresolved concussion issues.

The 34-year-old will assist the club's hockey operations department in a variety of matters including player evaluations, prospect development, and player recruitment.

Nash spent the first nine seasons of his career in Columbus after the Blue Jackets selected him first overall in 2002 during the franchise's third NHL draft. He remains the team's all-time leader in games played, goals, assists, points, and several other key statistics.

One of the premier power forwards of his era, Nash was a co-winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy during the 2003-04 season, tying Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk for the league lead with 41 goals in his second NHL campaign. He'd go on to score at least 30 goals in a season seven more times during his career.

"Rick is the most decorated player in Blue Jackets history and was one of the game's most respected players during a career that included multiple All-Star Games, Olympic and World Championship gold medals, and a Stanley Cup Final appearance," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "He cares deeply about the Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus and will be a great addition to our organization."

The Blue Jackets made several other changes to their front office. Bill Zito has been promoted to senior vice president of hockey operations, associate general manager, and alternate governor. Basil McRae and Josh Flynn were both promoted and are now assistant general managers, while Chris Clark was promoted to director of player personnel.

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Franchise icon Rick Nash joins Blue Jackets' front office
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