The NHL Retirement Roundup

With uncertainty hanging overhead, some players are taking the opportunity to evaluate their careers and lives. A couple of players have decided that it’s time to bow out and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Joel Ward

Late last month defenseman Joel Ward announced his retirement from the sport. This guy has an incredible resume. Ward was never drafted but managed an 11 season, 300+ point record. His nickname in the nation’s capital was Captain Clutch back in the 2012 playoffs. He was also a key piece in the 2015-2016 San Jose Sharks’ Cup run.

Ward proved his worth off the ice, too. He worked with the youth in the metro DC area with Hall of Famer Neal Henderson, focusing on bringing minority children into the hockey world. He dealt with ignorance throughout his career because of his race, but he always rose above the hate. Joel Ward is a class act who will be missed in the league.

Ales Hemsky

Friday, right-winger Ales Hemsky announced his own retirement. He was a first-round pick in the 2001 NHL Draft to the Edmonton Oilers, where he spent the majority of his 15 season career. He tallied 572 points throughout his time in the NHL, including 17 in the Oilers’ 2006 Cup run. Hemsky also owns a bronze medal from the 2006 Olympics for the Czech Republic.

Hemsky stated his reason for retiring as wanting to spend time with his family. We wish him and his family the best.

One More?

One big question mark hangs over the head of former Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. He sat this 2019-2020 abbreviated season out after not reporting to Winnipeg’s training camp. He and the organization came to an agreement to terminate his contract last month, thus making him a free agent. Byfuglien has not publicly stated whether or not he intends on returning to hockey or if this was his way of retiring. It wouldn’t be a shock if he decided to hang up his skates, but I know there are many others out there who would love to see him play for one more season where he wants to be.

-Heidi Thomas (@damselondrums)

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Heidi Thomas

Washington Capitals fan, casual gamer, hiking enthusiast. Ask me about my Greyhound. I also wrote a book once.

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