It's been an unforgettable weekend for Patrik Elias. On Friday morning, the Czech-native announced his retirement from the National Hockey League, putting an end to an outstanding 18-year career with the New Jersey Devils. Elias and the Devils revealed the news in a ten-minute long sit-down interview with close friend and former teammate Ken Daneyko. In this all-access feature, Elias looks back at his career, his attempt to return to the ice from injury (which unfortunately fell short) and his feelings on joining Daneyko, Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and Martin Brodeur as the only players in franchise history to have their number retired.
Video: Ken Daneyko talks #PattysLastLap with Patrik Elias
Patrik Elias leaves the game that he loves as the Devils franchise leader in points (1,025), goals (408) and assists (617) and ranks third in games played (1,240) behind only Daneyko (1,283) and Brodeur (1,259). After the announcement, fans, players and former teammates expressed their respect and congratulations to Elias for displaying excellence on and off the ice.
The NHLer's media tour continued Friday afternoon when Elias paid a visit to the NHL Network studios to join Mike Rupp, Steve Mears, and Michelle McMahon on NHL Now. Rupp, who won the 2003 Stanley Cup Final with the Devils, spoke glowingly of Elias during the interview. "Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedermayer, Marty Brodeur and then Patty Elias. That's the same greatness." Rupp elaborated, "When you can be thought of the moment when you think of an organization's name, that's incredible and that is what [Patrik] is leaving behind. That's awesome."
The rave reviews for Elias didn't end with Rupp. Lou Lamoriello, the man who drafted Patrik, surprised Elias by calling into the live segment of NHL Now and shared kind words and fond memories of the 51st overall selection in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. "All I can say is, I'm proud of you." Lamoriello further discussed the impact Elias had on the Devils by crediting his ability to play in any situation. "He was born with the ability to have hockey sense at the highest level. He's up there with the best players who have ever played the game." Watch the video below to check out the entire interview.
Video: Lou Lamoriello and Patrik Elias on NHL Now
Following his time on-air, Patrik Elias received a tour of the NHL Network studios where he got an inside look at the control room, paused for a few selfies, and took part in the office tradition of signing the autograph wall.
Elias even stopped inside the MLB Network studios, but don't expect him to be trading in his skates and hockey stick for a bat and a glove anytime soon.
From what we can tell, it looks like Patrik Elias has found a new career-path as a part-timer and we wish him the best in it.
Elias returns to The Rock on Tuesday to drop the ceremonial puck against the Flyers. Elias will also skate during an April 7th open practice at Prudential Center (RSVP Here). Don't miss when Elias returns to the ice for warm-ups to skate #PattysLastLap prior to Devils vs. the Islanders on April 8th.