Former Duck Paul Kariya, current Duck Todd Marchant retire
Former Ducks winger Paul Kariya, who took last season off to recover from the latest in a string of concussions, announced his retirement Wednesday and had some strong words for the NHL’s weak and inconsistent system for punishing blows to the head.
Kariya, 36, began his career with the Ducks and twice exceeded 100 points in his 15-season career. He was never quite the same, however, after taking a ferocious hit to the head from Gary Suter just before Kariya was to play for Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
The dynamic winger finished with 402 goals and 989 points in 989 games with the Ducks, Colorado, Nashville and St. Louis. Imagine how much more he might have done if not for those repeated concussions and the toll they took.
Here's his official announcement, issued through longtime 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.
Current Ducks center Todd Marchant also announced his retirement after 18 NHL seasons. A native of the Buffalo, N.Y., area, he played for the 1994 U.S. Olympic team and was a tremendous penalty killer with great speed. He joined the Ducks for the 2005-06 season and played on their 2007 Stanley Cup team.
Marchant will stay with the Ducks organization as a player development coach.
Congrats to both on fine careers.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Paul Kariya was never the same after this hit by Gary Suter. Credit: Kevin P. Casey, Los Angeles Times.