The player who terrorized Kings teams for the years is finally hanging up his skates. Aged 36 years old, it’s not terribly shocking that Kariya is retiring, though he is retiring as a result of repeated concussions, and health risks. Obviously despite the fact that I was not ever a big fan of Kariya myself (hard to root that hard for a Duck), he’s a respectable player, and it’s always hard to watch somebody forced from the game before they would like to leave.
Kariya wraps up his career with an impressive 989 points in 989 games, and a bevy of awards to litter his trophy room (professional athletes have those right?). He won the Lady Byng trophy twice (1996,1997), a gold medal at the World Junior Championships (1992), Olympic Gold (2002), and was a 6-time all-star. It’s a solid record, and one that he can certainly be proud of. Well done Kariya.
Kariya’s official statement of retirement after the jump:
“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.”