Boston Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald today announced his retirement as a National Hockey League player. Fitzgerald will work this season as a studio analyst for selected Bruins games on New England Sports Network (NESN).
"I’m very proud to retire as a Boston Bruin," said Fitzgerald. "I came to Boston with an agenda, which was to play here and live out a childhood dream. I did that and I’m very lucky and very fortunate. I took a lot of pride in wearing that sweater and I’m walking away a very happy man.
"I knew that I didn’t want to play anywhere else this season but Boston and [Bruins General Manager] Peter [Chiarelli] was very up front with me," continued Fitzgerald. "I told Peter today that there’s a sense of relief and excitement for my next job down the road and my next life. Other than winning a Stanley Cup, my goals were reached here."
"It is a tremendous achievement to play 17 seasons in the National Hockey League," said Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli. "It shows not only a high level of talent, but of commitment and character as well. I know from talking to Tom recently how proud he was to wear a Bruins uniform and I can say that the Bruins were equally as proud to have him represent the team."
Fitzgerald, 38, enjoyed a 17-year career in the National Hockey League with seven teams. He was drafted by the New York Islanders as their first pick, 17th overall, in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft and went on to play two seasons of college hockey at Providence College from 1986-88. He turned pro for the 1988-89 season, splitting his first four pro years between the Islanders and their AHL affiliates in Springfield and Capital District. He played his first full NHL season in 1992-93 with the Islanders and went on to play for the Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and hometown Boston Bruins.
The 6'0", 195 lb. native of Billerica, Massachusetts enjoyed his best offensive seasons during his five-year stint in Florida, scoring a career-high 18 goals in 1993-94 and career-highs in assists (21) and points (34) in 1995-96, when he also made his only appearance in a Stanley Cup Final. After a brief stint in Colorado, he played four seasons in Nashville from 1998-2002 and served as the first Captain in Predators history. He played the 2005-06 season in a Boston uniform with four goals and six assists for ten points and 40 penalty minutes in 71 Bruins games.
Fitzgerald retires with 139 goals and 190 assists for 329 points and 776 penalty minutes in 1,097 career NHL regular season games. He added seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points and 90 penalty minutes in 78 career NHL playoff contests.