(PRESS RELEASE: ZIGGY PALFFY ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT)
Ziggy Palffy’s stay in Pittsburgh – and the NHL – is over.
The talented right winger retired from the NHL on Wednesday much to the shock of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who signed the 33-year-old to a three-year contract on Aug. 8.
“Everyone was surprised,” Penguins General Manager Craig Patrick said. “[Tuesday] was a day off [for the team]. Ziggy came into my office around 9:30 [a.m.] and wanted to talk to me. We talked about a lot of things. At the end he said he wanted to retire for personal reasons. After our discussion, I understand all his issues and I respect his decision. He’s ready to move on from hockey.”
Palffy, a native of Slovakia, cited to a Slovakian newspaper that a chronic shoulder injury, which had required two previous surgeries, as the determining factor in his decision to step away from the game. However, Patrick said Palffy’s shoulder injury history was not a concern for the team.
"We didn’t sense there were any problems with his shoulder. He passed a physical,” Patrick said. “I won’t talk about our discussion – that’s between Ziggy and me. But, he said he has been thinking about [retiring] for a while.
“Ziggy is not a very expressive person, so it’s hard to tell – I couldn’t sense one way or another how he felt [about his decision].”
Patrick called Palffy on Wednesday just to make sure the decision was final.
“I talked to him again and asked if he was sure and he said, ‘I am positive that this is what I want to do.’”
In 684 career NHL games, Palffy scored 329 goals and racked up 384 assists for 713 points in 12 seasons. Palffy had 42 points (11+31) in 42 games for the Penguins this year. Known for scoring, the talented right winger did not score a goal in the last 14 Penguins games – a span of more than a month.
“He brought a lot of skill. He was a good complement for our skilled guys,” Patrick said. “It was good to have him here and watch him. It’s unfortunate we’re not going to get to watch him anymore, but life goes on.
“It’s been an interesting year for sure, there’s no doubt about that,” he continued. “It’s the new NHL and it hasn’t unfolded as we expected, but there is still half a season left and we’ll see how it goes the rest of the way.”