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The Lockout: a Forced Retirement

It's a Canadian Game


blog-0442778001349638267.jpgSo far the NHL has cancelled games up until October 24th so most of the season could still be played out and games that have already been cancelled could still be tacked on to the end of the season, barring a deal is finally reached. However, assuming this doesn't come to light, certain players may be more impacted than others.

One name that comes to mind is all-star goaltender and future hall-of-famer Martin Brodeur. At the end of last season rumours swirled all over that Brodeur may be playing in his last season, believing retirement was imminent at the end of the season. Marty went on to sign a 2 year deal at the end of the season, but if he has to sit around and wait to play in his final seasons in the NHL is it maybe in his best interest to retire now?

This is just one example of a group of NHLers that may go unnoticed when talks about who is impacted the most by the NHL lockout circulate. In 2004 this same phenomenon happened with another one of the game's greats. Brett Hull signed a contract for the beginning of the 04-05 season with the Phoenix Coyotes, a team that was looking to finally prove themselves as a contender. Now the season prior was the NHL lockout and the season prior to that Hull put up a respectable 25 goals and 68 points in 81 games. Great numbers for someone his age.

So, Hull headed into the 04-05 season after a lockout with new rules and a much faster game. After only 5 games and recording just 1 assist Brett Hull announced his retirement from the game believing he could no longer keep up with new pace and speed of the game. Hull would finish he career with 1,391 points, good enough for 22nd all time. However, he finished just 35 points away from moving up to 15th all-time a feet that would have been very achievable had there have been no lockout during the 03-04 season.


A look at back some of Brett Hull's greatest moments.

It seems that some NHLers may now be put into the same position as Hull and may lose out on that one last season. Besides Brodeur, this season also heard much speculation that Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson may be playing in his last season in the NHL. This made the all-star game in Ottawa this past season just that more emotional for the league and the city of Ottawa. However, Alfredsson decided the end of the season that he was not ready to hang up the skates just yet and that he would be back for another campaign. However, with the NHL lockout now in place have we seen Alfredsson's last game in a Senators' uniform?

Next to Brodeur and Alfredsson, other players that may have to contemplate retirement this year or the next couple years are Teemu Selanne, Dwayne Roloson, Jaromir Jagr, and Jason Arnott to name a few. Lets just hope that once again we don't see the NHL ruin the chance for some of the games greats to hit those memorable milestones.

Follow me on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman


Recommended Comments

You make an excellent point regarding the lockout and the end of many great players careers. I was thinking the same thing the other day.

If there is a full season lost, we may see the end of most if not all players that began their careers in the early to mid-90's.

To me, that era (90's) was the golden age for the sport. It would be a real shame if such players fade into the sunset without the proper sendoff.

Here's to hoping the lockout ends soon.

Great article.

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