As we look back at the 2008-09 season, it's interesting the note the players that no longer appear on the stats sheet. Let's take a look at the notable retirees, as well as those that you may have missed who have played their last shift in the NHL. (At least until they come out of retirement next year.)
The Hall of Fame Class:
Jaromir Jagr - We have to be hesitant to include him, because he still has plenty of hockey to play. It's just questionable whether he'll choose to do it on this side of the ocean. Either way, he's a sure Hall of Famer, who had a remarkable, if not storybook, career.
Peter Forsberg - It's hard to gage when he actually stopped playing, if in fact he has. Forsberg may be remembered more for the games he didn't play (which were many), than the amazing things he did when his many ailments allowed him to lace up his delicate skates.
Dominic Hasek - Seems to be the year of the flaky Europeans. Hasek is one of the top goalies of all time, and a no brainer for the Hall of Fame. He is one of the few players who you can apply the phrase "pull a …" and fill in the guys name.
Glen Wesley - Borderline candidate for the Hall, but soldiered through a remarkably long career, winning a Stanley Cup along the way.
The Gone, but sure to be back Class:
Ray Emery - may be returning as soon as next season to aggravate a new fanbase. Gives Sean Avery a run for his money in terms of off-ice antics.
Alex Radulov - took the money and ran off to Russia, but he's sure to be back as soon as that well runs dry. Again, could be as early as next season. This guy still has a lot of goals to score in the NHL.
Eric Johnson - missed the scoresheet due to a golf outing gone awry. Obviously has a long career ahead of him, which will resume this fall.
Fading off into the Sunset:
Martin Straka - had a great run in Pittsburgh and a decent finish in New York. The Rangers missed his scoring this season, but it's hard to imagine seeing him back in the league at his age.
Glen Murray - enjoyed some fantastic seasons on Joe Thornton's wing, but faded steadily after he left.
Geoff Sanderson - Never got the recognition he deserved, mostly because he spent his career playing for losing, small market teams. He donned 9 different NHL sweaters and registered 700 points.
Stu Barnes - Was a fan favorite wherever he played. Particularly in Pittsburgh, Florida and Dallas. Also spent time with the Jets and Sabres during his 1136 games in the league.
Dallas Drake - Finally won a Stanley cup in his last of more than 1000 games played in the league.
Josef Stumpel - Played in almost 1000 games and recorded a career high 79 points with LA in '98. Stumpel moved on to the KHL last season to end his career.
Alexei Zhitnik - Zhitnik was the #1 defenseman for the Sabres for a decade, before bouncing around in the end. He also moved back to Russia last season.
Chris Simon - One entry from the "will not be missed" category. Simon was known more for his poor sportsmanship than his contributions over his 15 year NHL stay.
Bates Battaglia - Won't be missed by many, unless you're a Canes fan. Was a key player in the 2002 run to the finals, and has always been a favorite at Landshark Hockey
Bryan Berard - showed guts by giving back an insurance settlement to return to the NHL with one good eye. Marian Hossa's high stick cut short a potential Hall of Fame defenseman's career.
And who could forget about…
Ladislav Nagy, Randy Robitaille, Bryan Smolinski, Martin Gelinas, and David Vyborny
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