Rick Nash to Break Top Three in New York Rangers All-Time List


After the Columbus Blue Jackets handed over Rick Nash to the New York Rangers in 2012, disappointed fans in Ohio thought their team had traded away an exceptional player. Fast forward to just before the 2014 playoffs, and the deal seemed to have favored Columbus more than it had New York. Nash was underperforming, logging only 26 goals and 13 assists over 65 games played during the 2013-14 season. Let’s not even go into detail about his subpar playoff performance last year. Three goals over 25 games. Yep, that’s enough of a stroll down that memory lane.

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  • The present season, however, is an entirely different story. Perhaps he has fully recovered from his concussions. Maybe being a new father makes him want to work harder. Whatever the reason, Nash has been shockingly brilliant with the puck up to this point, so much so that he has already made amends for the past and was deemed “for61ven” by Rangers fans.

    Over 44 games played thus far, Nash has buried the puck more frequently than every other game, collecting 28 goals. This feat has earned him the top spot, alongside the Dallas StarsTyler Seguin, for goals scored this season in the NHL. Furthermore, Nash’s consistency as a reliable goal scorer has helped him win the title of alternate captain on the NHL All-Star roster. Funny enough, the 2015 NHL All-Star game will take place in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, January 25th. Will the all-time leading franchise scorer for the Columbus Blue Jackets be spared his regular dose of “boo”s this time around? We’ll just have to wait and see.

    On top of all of his recent success, Nash is on pace to break his personal record of 41 goals set in 2003-04 with the Blue Jackets. Should Nash continue to find the scoresheet at the pace he has set, he will easily score over 50 goals by the end of the year.

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    In fact if we nerd out for a moment, using Nash’s scoring percentage (.173) multiplied by his shots on goal (162) all divided by the games he’s played in already (44), gives us an average of .637 goals per game. Multiply that by a full season of games, that gives us 52 goals total for Nash this year. Of course numbers on paper don’t necessarily mean that that is what will happen out on the ice, but it’s what will most likely happen based on how he has performed so far this season.

    With that projection, Nash will land among hockey greats on the New York Rangers’ all-time list for goals scored in a single season. In third place, Vic Hadfield tallied 50 goals during the 1971-72 season. In second place, Adam Graves notched 52 during the 1993-94 season. However, Graves did it in 84 games, whereas Nash only has 82 to work with. Thus, if Nash does end up scoring 52 times, he will steal Graves’ number two spot on the list.

    Nash may even possibly steal the number one spot from Jaromir Jagr, who scored 54 goals in the 2005-06 season. Jagr, which I’m sure is Czech for eternal one, has only broken that personal record once, scoring 62 goals in the 1995-96 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The fact that Jagr has had only one better season, and looking at the dates when Hadfield and Graves made the list, all goes to show just how difficult it is to break the top three. And if Nash actually makes the top three this season, it will be epic.