Captain Crunchtime: Meet Rick Nash
Rick Nash played his first game with the Blue Jackets at the ripe age of 18. The power forward with a knack for highlight-reel goals has been the face of the franchise pretty much from the first day he stepped on the ice in 2002.
Fans breathed a sigh of relief when Nash signed a contract extension in the offseason that puts him in a Jackets uniform for nearly the next decade. So we sat down to get to know the 25-year-old team captain - after all, he's going to be around for a while.
What is it about Columbus that made you decide to stay long-term?
It's a great city. I think you get the best of both worlds. You have good family living on the outskirts, and you've got good entertainment in the Arena District, on Campus ... It's a big city, but it's got a small-city feel, which is important to me.
What do you like to do for fun in Columbus?
I like to go to the movies a lot. Obviously any Buckeye football games you can go to are fun. Mostly just kind of relax. We don't get too much down time when we're home, but when we do, you know, there are great restaurants in Columbus.
What's it like for you when you go out?
People are starting to recognize me. But it's great, 'cause coming from Toronto, it's really nothing. In Toronto, you can go to the mall, you can go anywhere, and people are following you around. Here, it's great. They might say hello or "good luck this season." You get noticed, but nothing like back home.
What's your favorite on-the-road city?
Vancouver is beautiful. They never get too much cold weather, it's right on the ocean and mountains. Good things to do, good shopping, good restaurants. It's kind of a tight-core downtown. You can walk anywhere.
What was the first poster on your wall when you were a kid?
I think it was Doug Gilmour. He was a Toronto Maple Leaf captain.
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
Probably to fly. I figure it would be pretty cool just flying places whenever you want.