If their 7-3 victory over the New York Islanders was the last time Rick Nash appears in a Columbus Blue Jackets jersey, there's a certain irony in his going out a winner.
It's the perpetual losing, and seemingly annual reconstruction of the roster, that led to his requesting a trade in January — a request that wasn't fulfilled at the NHL trade deadline, leading to a contentious press conference revelation of that demand by GM Scott Howson.
In what could be his final game in Columbus as a Blue Jacket, Nash scored the game's first goal at 19:24 of the first period and played 15:33 for the game. There had been some doubt about Nash's status for the game after a lower back injury earlier in the week, but the captain played in Game No. 82 and gave the jersey off his back after the win on Fan Appreciation Day.
Was this Nash's grand farewell to the only franchise he's known?
Nash met the media after the game, addressing the Blue Jackets' strong post-deadline performance and his own future (s/t Lori Schmidt).
As you heard at the end of the clip, there was a strong cheer for Nash during the player intros, along with some audible boos.
Said Nash on Columbus's improvement:
"I think we're on the right track here. They made some great moves and it was an exciting time to make those moves and win some games."
Said Nash on potentially playing his final game with the Jackets:
"It's tough. It's a fun building to play in. I love Columbus. The next week's gonna be fun, hanging out with all the guys and finishing things off. It hasn't really crossed my mind too much."
Nash said that like every other player, he'll have his postseason meeting with Howson. Wonder what they'll talk about.