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Where Are They Now: Mike Sillinger

17-year veteran bounced around the NHL but has good memories of his time in Columbus

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

Where Are They Now: Sillinger

Where Are They Now: Sillinger

Former Blue Jacket Mike Sillinger joins Jeff Svoboda on a brand-new episode of Where Are They Now, presented by Huntington!

  • 12:39 •

Detroit. Anaheim. Vancouver. Philadelphia. Tampa Bay. Florida. Ottawa. Columbus. Phoenix. St. Louis. Nashville. New York.

Johnny Cash may have hit a few more locations in the song "I've Been Everywhere," but he still barely had the edge on former Blue Jackets forward Mike Sillinger. 

He could play anywhere in the lineup, he could win a faceoff like nobody's business, but Sillinger is known to this day as hockey's ultimate road warrior, being traded an NHL-record nine times and playing for 12 teams in a 17-season NHL career that ran from 1991 to 2009.

He started out as a prospect with the high-flying Red Wings and ended with the Islanders, but that was just part of the game for the Sasketchwan native

"I think the way you have to look at it is it's a business," he told for the most recent edition of Where Are They Now?, a 20th-anniversary season series presented by Huntington Bank. "Every time I got traded or moved as a free agent, it was a new beginning. My wife and I learned that very early in my career. I asked for a trade in Detroit, actually. I wasn't getting any playing time, I was up and down in the minors. I remember Jason York was in the same situation and we kind of asked for a trade at the same time, and boom, I was granted a trade within the week and the ball didn't stop rolling.

"Longevity in the NHL, playing 18 years, playing wth 300 teammates and living in all different cities, it's a great lifestyle. We've enjoyed every moment of it."

Oddly, though Sillinger would play just two years in Columbus after signing a free-agent deal in the summer of 2001, his 155 games in Columbus is the most he played for any NHL team. He was someone who could get on the board for a franchise that needed it early on, notching 20 goals his first season and 18 his second year with the Jackets while scoring 43 points each season.

"We really enjoyed Columbus," Sillinger said as he looks back. "We still have very good friends outside of hockey that live in Columbus. The best memories is meeting the best people and staying attached to them."

Watch the entire episode of Where Are They Now? presented by Huntington Bank above, as Sillinger talks about his life in hockey, his favorite Blue Jackets teammates, chirps Jody Shelley and talks about being a hockey dad now as two of his sons play college hockey at Bemidji State and another is a potential first-round pick this upcoming draft. 

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