March 7 — Retiring Nash’s Number & Atlantic Sellers

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

HATS OFF: Even if you had a good weekend, it probably wasn’t quite as good as Jason Robertson’s. Robertson became the first Dallas Star and first NHLer since Alex Ovechkin in Jan. 2020 to score hat tricks in back-to-back games. Those hatties included the overtime winner in a 4-3 triumph against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, and the goal held up as the game-winner in a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

THIS IS OUR HOUSE: The Carolina Hurricanes are not slowing down as they beat the Seattle Kraken to win their 11th consecutive game at PNC Arena. Martin Necas was the hero as he broke a 2-2 score in the third period to secure his team’s most recent victory. The Hurricanes currently sit at the top of the Metropolitan Division with 83 points, which is second-best in the league behind the Colorado Avalanche.

RICK TO THE RAFTERS: On Saturday, Rick Nash became the first player to be honored by the Columbus Blue Jackets by retiring his number. Nash spent nine of his 15 NHL seasons in Columbus and still leads the Blue Jackets in almost every offensive statistical category.

DISHING DIMES IN THE DESERT: Nick Schmaltz notched two goals and five assists on Saturday night, breaking the Arizona Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets record for most points in a single game. His five helpers also tied a record for most assists by a Coyotes/Jets player, as Schmaltz became the first player to record seven points in a game since Sam Gagner posted eight for the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 2, 2012. 

QUICK AS LIGHTNING: In 32 seconds, a one-goal game turned into a four-goal runaway, as Victor Hedman, Corey Perry, and Mikhail Sergachev set the record for fastest consecutive goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tied for the 21st fastest three scores by one team in a single game, the Bolts were one second slower than the time posted by the New York Islanders earlier this season (Zach Parise, Brock Nelson, and Anders Lee against the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 9, 2022). 

By the Numbers: Rick Nash

On Saturday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets honored the best player in the franchise’s 22-year history, retiring Rick Nash’s number 61 jersey at Nationwide Arena. Multiple notable names in the hockey world spoke while the team gifted several items to Nash, who played 15 seasons in the NHL, the first nine with the Jackets.

Nash became the face of the franchise in Columbus, helping lead the Blue Jackets to their first-ever postseason appearance in 2009. The 37-year-old Canadian, who still lives in the city and works for the team as their director of player personnel, is a beloved figure, as evidenced by Saturday night’s ceremony. To celebrate the first player to have his number retired by the Blue Jackets, let’s look at some notable numbers from Nash’s career.

Rick Nash with the Columbus Blue Jackets (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

1st – Pick with which the Blue Jackets selected Nash in the 2002 NHL Draft. He was the consensus top prospect following two excellent seasons with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), where he won the Emms Family Award as the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2001.

2 – Shots it took for Nash to net his first goal in the NHL. He made his debut on Oct. 10, 2002, posting the game-tying tally in an eventual 2-1 Blue Jackets win over the Chicago Blackhawks to open the season.

41 – Goals Nash scored in 2003-04, his second season in the NHL. He earned the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal-scorer that year (tied with Jerome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk). He reached the 40-goal mark two more times in his career, scoring 40 for the Blue Jackets in 2008-09 and 42 for the New York Rangers in 2014-15.

12 – Seconds it took for Nash to score the opening goal of the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, which is still the fastest goal ever scored in the annual event. He also ended up notching a hat trick in that game.

3 – Gold medals Nash won as a member of Team Canada. He was part of the team that won Olympic gold in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014, and he was also a member of the team that won gold at the 2007 World Championships.

11 – Offensive statistical categories in which Nash is the Blue Jackets’ all-time career leader, including games played (674), goals (289), assists (258), and points (547).

61 – Nash’s jersey number, which the Blue Jackets retired Saturday night. According to Nash, he wanted number 16 since his birthday is on June 16, but a veteran on the London Knights already had that number. So he told Knights trainer Don Brankley, who was in charge of handing out jersey numbers, to put any number in his locker. Brankley chose 61, as it’s 16, but reversed.

Trade Deadline Primer: Atlantic Division Sellers

Friday’s issue marked the start of our division-by-division pre-trade deadline breakdown, but now we get things going with our first complete week of looking ahead. After scouting the Atlantic Division’s buyers, we move down the standings to the division’s expected sellers. For all the upper-tier talent featured in the Atlantic, there’s no shortage of bottom feeders as well, including the reigning Stanley Cup finalist turned the league’s second-worst team. Let’s get to it!

Montreal Canadiens

Jeff Petry, Montreal Canadiens (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Montreal expected a dip after Carey Price and Shea Weber stepped away from the Canadiens, which, if we’re being honest, seemed like more of a playoff fluke last year than a bona fide finalist. But 37 points in 56 games?? Even that much has only been because of the seven wins in their past eight matches. Since this recent streak is too little too late, expect players like Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry, Brett Kulak, and Artturi Lehkonen to get dangled by the new Kent Hughes-led brain trust.

Ottawa Senators

Anton Forsberg, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

At least the Ottawa Senators know where they stand as sellers for another year. The good news: they’ve already accumulated six picks in the first three rounds of this summer’s NHL Entry Draft. While the bad news is that even if they wanted to bolster their draft haul, it’s hard to see any moveable trade assets on the roster. Maybe Tyler Ennis or Nick Paul could fetch a return as rental players, and it’s possible Anton Forsberg holds value, but it’s tough to see an exciting deadline ahead in Ottawa.

Buffalo Sabres

Colin Miller, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Remember that 3-0 start? Good times, huh? In truth, there’s reason to be encouraged in Buffalo this year, as the Sabres have 44 points through 56 games after collecting 37 in as many games last season. Two extra conditional first-round picks will make the future look a little brighter, as would acquiring draft picks for Colin Miller, Cody Eakin, or Robert Hagg. Of course, just getting future assets back for Jack Eichel earlier this season counts as an achievement. The other question: is Owen Power on his way?

Player Spotlight — Torey Krug

Torey Krug is currently in the middle of his 11th NHL season. The 5-foot-9 defender played over 500 games with the Boston Bruins before leaving during free agency and signing with the St. Louis Blues. Krug has 29 points in 50 games this season while being utilized in a top-four defender role alongside Justin Faulk. Fans know plenty about what the 30-year-old brings to the ice, but what about his life outside of hockey? Let’s check in.

Torey Krug, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Joe Puetz/NHLI via Getty Images)

Binge Worthy TV Show?:

The Office

Which Phone App Would You Keep if the Rest Had to Be Deleted?:


If You Could Steal Another Player’s Skill, What Would You Take?:

Either Chara’s size or McDavid’s Speed

If You Had to Pick a New First Name, What Would You Pick?:


What Is the Coolest Goal You’ve Ever Scored?:

When I went end to end (as a Bruin)

Favorite Christmas Gift Growing Up?:

New hockey stick

What Was Your First Car?:

Cutlass Supreme

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule

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