The completed NHL season was the last in a career for several iconic players. “Championship” tells about those who decided to leave hockey.
Duncan Keith, 38
The most famous among them is Duncan Keith. The defender spent his entire career, with the exception of the last year, in Chicago. 1256 league games, 646 (106+540) points, “+159”, average time 24:41 – Keith’s personal statistics say a lot about him.
Perhaps the most telling math about Duncan reflects his prodigious, almost machine-like performance: In only one of his 17 seasons, a defenseman averaged less than 23 minutes. Keith was almost injury-free – in the last two years alone, he missed as many matches (46) as in the previous nine.
The most outstanding period in Keith’s hockey life was a segment in the middle of the tenths. He set a personal best in scoring (61 points in the regular season and 23 in the playoffs), won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, and in addition to this he received two Norris Trophy and one Conn Smythe. In addition, Keith won two Olympic gold medals – in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.
The Canadian was not one of the main talents of the generation – Chicago selected him in the draft in the sixth ten. But Keith leaves as one of the strongest defensemen in modern NHL history. He became so primarily due to his special attitude to the matter. Duncan is incredibly responsible for the training process and everything that comes along. Kit adheres to a strict diet, started his own website, where he posts specific exercises, and, according to Nikita Zadorov, he took a portable sauna with him on trips.
Samuel Morin, 26
Keith during his professional career managed to defeat everyone who met on his way – he could not stop only time. The defenseman’s retirement at the age of 38 looks like a logical conclusion to one of the stages of his life. You can’t say the same about people who say goodbye to hockey before reaching their 30th birthday. Samuel Morin is one of them.
The 27-year-old Philadelphia defender is hardly familiar to a wide range of fans. In the NHL, he managed to take part in only 29 matches, although – unlike Keith – he was listed at the level of the best juniors on the planet. In the 2013 draft, the Pilots took him 11th.
However, the league debut had to be postponed. The defender had difficulty adapting to adult hockey, so his transition from the AHL to the NHL dragged on for four years. When it did happen, Morena began to attack injuries. A series of several small injuries at first looked like an annoying nuisance, but soon a real disaster happened. During the AHL playoffs in the 2017/18 season, Moren ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Such a diagnosis often becomes a verdict for professional athletes: recovery takes too much time and not everyone is able to reach the previous level after it has passed. Morin, young and motivated, successfully underwent surgery and returned fully to hockey six months later. But in November 2019, he was out of action again and again due to the rupture of crosses on the same knee.
By some miracle, Samuel managed to get through this as well. Having survived a long recovery in a new way, the Canadian spent the longest stretch in his NHL career: the defender played 20 matches and even scored the winning goal against Igor Shesterkin.
When it seemed that all the worst was left behind, the doctors discovered new problems in Morin. Last fall, he had a manipulation to clean his knee. The procedure was not as complicated as the operations that preceded it, but it was after her that Morena’s career ended.
“Every evening I look at myself in the mirror and understand that I gave everything I could,” said Samuel. “I played with pain for a very long time. Even during the last season, the pain did not leave me, I felt that my meniscus was almost torn. I really wanted to be a hockey player, but when I felt pain again during training camp, I realized that everything was bad. But I do not regret anything, I did everything that was in my power.
Cody Macleod, 38
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher offered Morin a job in the club’s system, but now the ex-athlete is still thinking. But former Colorado, Rangers and Nashville player Cody Macleod accepted the offer with ease. Macleod will become Minnesota’s player development coach.
In the NHL, Cody played as a forward, but was more remembered as a tough guy. In 775 matches, he scored 1628 penalty minutes. At the same time, MacLeod maintained an acceptable level of efficiency on the ice – he has 127 (75+55) points. The pinnacle of Macleod’s career was the Stanley Cup Final with the Predators in 2017. He spent the last three years in the AHL team, where he played with the captain’s patch.
MacLeod’s story brings to mind the path of Jared Bednar, the current head coach of the Colorado, who was also considered a power hockey player before appearing in this post.
From bouncer to philosopher. The Hollywood story of the coach who made Colorado the champion
Tuukka Rask, 35
Before the rest, Tuukka Rask announced his decision. On February 10, the Boston goaltender announced that he could no longer play. “I hoped this day would never come. But here it is, and I feel like I have to announce my decision myself,” Rusk said. “Over the past few weeks, I have realized that my body is no longer able to work at the level that I expect from myself and that my partners deserve. on the team and its fans. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement.”
Alexander Ovechkin and Tuukka Rask
All 15 years in the NHL, the Finn defended the colors and gates of one club – Boston. In the last season, he did not sign a contract for a long time: he claimed that he could not afford to let his partners down, and first he had to get in shape. Despite his specific position on the court, Tuukka has always been a team player. With the Bruins, he won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
“Ti, I’m late because I can’t believe it,” Anton Khudobin, a long-time backup of Rusk in Boston, wrote in February. You taught me to smile. And it’s not just about hockey – you’ve always been fun to play with. I know that you are about to embark on a wonderful adventure. Call me if you have any questions, if you need help. Speaking of the NHL Hall of Fame, I hope they call me as soon as possible, because I have a lot to say. I’m glad that you listened to me and agreed to catch the pucks that flew in your direction! I love you, I love your family! Partner. Friend. Blood. Forever.”
Andrey Sekera, 36 years old
The Slovak defender had no problems with “physics”, but the difficulties of his son. After 16 seasons in the league, Andrei Sekera decided to hang up his skates.
“My hockey career is over. I had several offers as a free agent, but I still decided to leave. The main reason is that my son had health problems last year. After everything we went through, I realized that it would be best if I devoted more time to my family, ”the official NHL website quotes Andrei as saying.