After spending the last four-plus seasons of his 14-year career as a member of the Nashville Predators, former center Paul Gaustad has decided to hang up his skates.
The 34-year-old announced his retirement from professional hockey via his Instagram page on Thursday, thanking fans from Nashville and Buffalo, where he began his NHL career.
"After 14 years as a professional hockey player, I have decided to move on to the next chapter of my life and career. It has been an honor and a privilege to play in the AHL and NHL, and I am forever grateful for the amazing friendships and memories I’ve made during this journey. Thank you to my talented teammates and coaches for helping me throughout the years. I will always remember and cherish our time together. And, of course, I want to express my appreciation to the incredible organizations I played for, as well as the fans in Rochester, Buffalo and Nashville that supported us. A special thank you to my wife, family and friends that have helped and supported me, from a kid at a local Portland rink dreaming of playing in the NHL, to all of the ups and downs of a pro career. Although I will miss the competition and camaraderie of playing in the NHL, I’m excited to spend more time with my beautiful family and help my three sons pursue their dreams." @danigaustad06 @phillip__gaustad @buffalosabres @predsnhl @amerkshockey @winterhawks
The Predators released this statement on Gaustad:
“The Nashville Predators congratulate Paul Gaustad on a successful 14-season professional career. Paul’s contributions as a selfless player, veteran leader and role model to our younger players were integral in helping the team to some of its most successful seasons to date. We wish him, his wife Danielle, and three sons, Phillip, Ayden and Brooks, the best of luck as he retires from hockey and enters the next chapter in his life.
Nicknamed “Goose,” Gaustad was known as one of the top players in the game when it came to success in the face-off circle. Gaustad won almost 57 percent of his faceoffs over his career, and was often relied upon late in games to gain possession on a critical draw.
Gaustad also holds the mark as scoring the game-winning goal in Nashville’s only Game Seven victory to date, a first-period deflection in Anaheim last spring, which helped propel the Preds to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.