paul kariya announces retirement from hockey

This week, after fifteen seasons in the NHL, Paul Kariya announced his retirement from hockey due to post-concussion brain damage that took him out of the 2010-11 season and has left him unable to play: Paul Kariya announces retirement.

Kariya had 989 career points (402 goals, 587 assists) in 989 regular-season games and was a two-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy. His concussions have also become something of a cautionary tale for re-thinking safety standards in professional hockey:
"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," he said. "I would not have achieved it without support from all of these people and organizations."

One of the defining moments of Kariya's career came during the 2003 Stanley Cup finals. In Game 6 in Anaheim, Kariya laid motionless on the ice for several minutes after a crushing open-ice hit by New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens.

But Kariya returned later in the game and scored.

Highly skilled and a stickler for details big and small when it came to preparation, Kariya became a cautionary tale even before the NHL had turned its attention to keeping its best players safe. Kariya suffered his first concussion in 1996 and another in 1998.
It looks like all those concussions -- including the last one, a blindside elbow that took him out in December 2009 -- finally caught up to him. It's a disappointing way to go out, but Kariya says the decision was pretty clear for him. Props to Paul Kariya, one of the most skilled hockey players of his generation. More here: Kariya's decision easy; the reason is not.

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