Former San Jose power forward Owen Nolan has officially announced his retirement, and will sign a one-day contract with the team, to retire a Shark. Nolan, a five-time all-star and Olympic gold medallist with Canada, finally resigned to the fact that he was done. He said, per NHL.com:
"I guess I've known this day was here for a while. 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."
"I knew when I retired I would return to San Jose. 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 had a remarkable career spanning 18 years, seven teams, and he scored 422 goals and dished out 463 assists in 1,200 games. He's possibly most well-known for calling his shot in the 1997 all-star game, pointing to the upper right corner and putting the puck on its mark.
"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."
Former coaches reflected on Nolan's career:
"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."
"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."
To share your memories of Nolan's impressive career with the Sharks and six other teams, make sure you head to Fear the Fin and join in on the discussion.