Originally drafted eleventh overall in the first round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, Sillinger played a total of 141 games for the Islanders the last three seasons. Sillinger also served as the team's assistant captain while scoring 42 goals and 45 assists for 87 points.
"To play the sport of hockey, something I've had a passion for all my life, at the professional level for the past 17 years and to be able to support my family has been a dream come true," said Sillinger. "From playing this game I have met some of my best friends and will cherish the memories we made forever."
It was definitely emotional. I really appreciated the fans. It was a cool feeling and it felt special and the ovation there at the start and then you kind of feel funny out there standing by yourself. Thinking back, I was saying just a bit ago, you think back just trying to make the NHL and then you kind of reflect on all the years being able to play for a great organization here in Calgary and all the fun I've had so far in my career. I feel very fortunate and blessed.
— Boston forward Jarome Iginla on his return to Calgary, where he played for 16 seasons