New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has learned that right wing Stefan Cherneski has retired from professional hockey, effective immediately.
“This was a very tough decision for me to make,” said Cherneski, who suffered a fractured right patella on November 13, 1998. “Unfortunately, my love for the sport of hockey cannot outweigh the pain caused by the injury. I want to thank the New York Rangers and Hartford Wolf Pack organizations, as well as the fans, for their tremendous support during my rehabilitation process.”
Cherneski, 22, appeared in 28 games this season with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), registering a goal and seven assists for eight points, along with 45 penalty minutes. He played his final professional game on December 29 against the Worcester IceCats.
In 40 career matches with Hartford, Cherneski charted two goals and nine assists for 11 points, along with 86 penalty minutes. After fracturing his right patella on November 13, 1998 against Springfield, Cherneski missed 152 consecutive games. The 6-1, 200-pounder returned to the Wolf Pack lineup for the team’s 1999-2000 final regular season home game on April 8, but did not dress in any post-season games. In total, Cherneski missed 176 of 177 regular season and playoff outings during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.
The native of Winnipeg, Manitoba was originally selected with the Rangers first choice, 19th overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.