Seven-time NHL All-Star Paul Kariya has decided to retire.
Kariya, who had 402 goals and 989 points in 989 career games during a decorated 15-year career, did not play last season as he attempted to recover from a concussion.
|Kariya's Impact on the Preds |
|General Manager David Poile: |
"Paul was a turning point in our franchise and a high level player that I think well someday be in the hall of fame. His professionalism in preparation, fitness, nutrition, in every area, was a huge help to so many of our players. Even today if you were to talk to some of our guys on the team, they would talk about some of the thinks he did as far as preparation and how he thought about the game. In many ways he was like an additional coach on our staff."
Head Coach Barry Trotz:
"Paul was very easy to coach; low maintenance, paid attention to close detail, and would question stuff, but in a good way. Everything he did about his game from how he prepared to how he slept was to be a better player, the best player he could be. To me, that brought a different level of thinking to a relatively new team, a young vibrant team, and it really drove a lot of those aspects of being a hockey team too. He took our team to the next level; he was able to push guys like Martin Erat and Legwand to levels."
He released the following statement through his agent, Don Baizley:
"Today, I announce my retirement from professional hockey. I would like to thank all of those who have been part of so many great memories -- my teammates, coaches, team management and staff. I am also very grateful for the support I have received over the years from the fans, especially those in Anaheim, Colorado, Nashville, and St. Louis. It was my dream to be a professional hockey player in the NHL from my minor hockey days in North Vancouver and Burnaby, through junior hockey in Penticton, college hockey at the University of Maine, and the Canadian National Team. I would not have achieved it without support from all of these people and organizations."
Drafted by Anaheim with the fourth pick in the 1993 Entry Draft, Kariya became a star with the expansion Mighty Ducks. He had two 100-point seasons and one with 99, and was a three-time First Team NHL All-Star.
Kariya teamed with Teemu Selanne to form one of the most potent 1-2 combinations in hockey, and, along with the Disney movie series, helped Anaheim become a popular franchise in its infancy. He won the Lady Byng Trophy twice for his gentlemanly play, and represented Canada in the Olympics twice -- once as an amateur in 1994 and again on the gold-medal winning team in 2002.
After coming within one victory of the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2003, he joined Colorado for the 2003-04 season. Kariya then spent two successful seasons with Nashville before signing with St. Louis for his final three years in the League. He had six 80-point seasons -- the last coming in 2005-06 with the Predators.