Here are some highlighted points from Bill Guerin's retirement announcement
at CONSOL Energy Center Monday afternoon.
He was accompanied by his family. He thanked all the organizations that he's played for, his former teammates and coaches, hometown friends, and of course, his family. It was when he spoke of his family that he started tear up.
"There's not much I can actually say because I couldn't put into words what you mean to me, what you've sacrificed and how much you guys have done for me. I love you incredibly. I'm looking forward to spending more time with you, and doing all the things I've dreamt about for a long time. I'm looking forward to the second half of my life and you guys being the focal point. I love you guys. Thank you."
Guerin talked about why he chose to retire as a Penguin in tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils.
"I came across so many great teammates, so many great organizations – a lot of organizations actually. But two in particularly that are extremely special to me are the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins.
"The Devils gave me my start. Lou Lamoriello had a lot of faith in me. He picked me in the draft and gave me my start in this league. To him, I’m forever grateful for that.
"On the backside, the last team that I ever played for was the Penguins. It was one of the most positive experiences of my life. They were great in bringing me here. My family and I bonded with this team and with this community. Fortunately, we were able to win the Stanley Cup as a family together. It was amazing."
Guerin on how his family felt at home in Pittsburgh right away.
"I knew it was different when Kara and the kids came to the first game and they had their signs up. They kept getting on the jumbotron. People in Pittsburgh I think related to us and we related to the people here.
"I’m just a regular Joe. I’ve got a wife and four kids. I embarrass my daughters just like everybody else. My son thinks I’m a dork sometimes. We like to play Star Wars and light saber fights. I think it was a good match."
Guerin said that his most memorable goal scored in his career was the OT score against the Flyers in Game 2 of the first round of the 2009 playoffs.
"The goal I scored against Philadelphia here in overtime. That was a big thrill for me. That was real special for me. I was pretty proud of that one."
Guerin also said that even though he attended Philadelphia's training camp, he always felt like a Penguin.
"I went to camp in Philly and I tried it. I was OK with it being over. My heart was (in Pittsburgh) and there was no reason for me to keep hanging on. I ended with a good year. That’s how I wanted it. I feel like I’m going out on my terms."
Guerin said his future is still up in the air. He's currently doing some television appearances for Versus Network, and has traveled with Pens assistant to the GM Tom Fitzgerald to learn the ropes of the hockey operations side of the game. No matter what though, Guerin wants to be involved in the NHL.
"I’m trying to figure that out right now. … There are so many different levels on what you can do in this business and I’m just trying to figure that out. First and foremost I’m just trying to spend time with my family. My kids have been without their father from time to time since the day they were born. I want to spend time at home. I’m trying to figure out exactly what I want to do and that may take some time. I do want to stay in the game."
Guerin had some incredible things to say about Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. He called Crosby's current scoring tirade an "assault on the game." He also said that of all the players that he's seen in his career, that Crosby is "driven like a player that I've never seen before."
"I was lucky enough to play against Gretzky, play against Mario, Jagr, all those guys. But what Sidney is doing right now is like an assault on the game. I think he’s just driven like a player that I’ve never seen before. For me to play with a guy like that later in my career was really special. It was really awesome."Guerin also noted how amazing it was that Crosby handed him the Stanley Cup before the rest of the team.
"That was a complete shock to me. Some of the guys were pushing me to the front, but I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries being one of the new guys. Sid searched me out and found me. That’s something I’ll never forget. It’s a huge honor. I think it shows the type of kid that Sid is. He’s extremely thoughtful even in the craziest of times. The gesture was amazing." RELATED VIDEO: Bill Guerin Media Conference >> RELATED ARITCLE: Guerin's "Heart" is in Pittsburgh >>RELATED ARITCLE: Penguins Remember Guerin's Antics >>RELATED ARITCLE: Guerin: Crosby's Play is an Assault on the Game >>