Owen Nolan announces retirement from NHL

Owen Nolan, who hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2009-10

season, announced his retirement Tuesday at the San Jose Sharks’

home rink.

”I guess I’ve known this day was here for a while,” said

Nolan, a five-time all-star and Olympic gold medalist with Canada.

”It’s tough to give it up when your heart and mind wants to keep

doing it. My body can’t keep up and I had to accept that.”

Nolan, who lives in San Jose, played 18 seasons and scored 422

goals with 463 assists in 1,200 games. He played for the Quebec

Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche, the Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs,

Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames and, most recently, the Minnesota

Wild.

Nolan was with the Wild in 2009-10 and played in Zurich last

year.

Nolan retired ranked 71st on the NHL’s career goals list, 33rd

in power-play goals and 100th in points.

The former Sharks captain, who turns 40 Sunday, was the first

overall pick in the 1990 draft and reached the NHL after playing

six games with the AHL’s Halifax Citadels.

”To be a power forward in the NHL is like being a running back

in the NFL,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. ”You take a

lot of punishment and hand out a lot of punishment. To have played

as long as he has, and at that level, is remarkable.”

Nolan, who was born in Northern Ireland, played in 568 games

over parts of eight seasons with the Sharks, his longest tenure of

any team.

”I knew when I retired I would return to San Jose,” Nolan

said. ”My kids were born here, my wife is from here and I love it

here. I was very emotional when I was traded from here, but we all

know it’s not just a sport but a business too. I have so many

memories here that I have to say the overall experience of playing

here was awesome.”

Nolan, who has several business ventures in the San Jose area,

said he will spend time with his family before deciding whether he

will return to hockey in some capacity.

Nolan appeared in 65 Stanley Cup playoff games with Nordiques,

Sharks, Maple Leafs and Flames. He had 21 goals and 19 assists in

those contests.

”Owen is a great teammate,” said San Jose development coach

Mike Ricci, who spent parts of 11 seasons with Nolan in Quebec,

Colorado, San Jose and Phoenix. ”A lot of people know how tough a

skater he was but he also had great hands to go with it. He was

great in tight, and had the finesse to go with the toughness. He

was a unique player.”

Nolan, who compiled 1,793 penalty minutes, is perhaps best known

for his called shot in the 1997 All-Star Game. He was in alone on

goalie Roman Turek and pointed to the top-right corner of the net

before hitting the spot to complete a hat trick.

”I’ve seen the replays a few times and I always think, `what

was I doing?”’ he said. ”It just seemed like the right thing to

do at the time. Luck was on my side and it just worked.”

His finest NHL season was with the Sharks in 1999-00, when he

set career-highs with 44 goals, 84 points, 18 power-play goals and

finished fifth in voting for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s

most valuable player.

”Owen Nolan was a dominating player on the ice and remains an

important member of the history of the San Jose Sharks franchise,”

Wilson said. ”All I can say is `Thank you.”’