Subban, Chara, Yandle Rapid Retirements Stir NHL – NHL.com Pipa News

Subban, Chara, Yandle Rapid Retirements Stir NHL – NHL.com

Together they played 3,623 NHL games, the equivalent of nearly 45 seasons, and scored a total of 1,766 points (427 goals, 1,339 assists).

Yandle will leave the game without a championship or individual trophy, but for now he holds the NHL record for his 989 consecutive regular season games played between March 26, 2009 and March 29, 2022. His iron record looks likely to fall early. the 2022-23 season, Vegas Golden Knights ahead Phil Kessel 982 straight.

Chara won the 2011 Stanley Cup as the captain of the Boston Bruins and the 2009 Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defender.

Subban won the Norris in 2013 and was voted recipient of the King Clancy Award in 2022, which goes to the player “who best exemplifies leadership skills on and off the ice and has made a remarkable humanitarian contribution to his community.”

It was a memorable Tuesday with these three retirements falling like dominoes. The NHL doesn’t keep an official record of one-day retirements for grey-bearded veterans, but League statistician Liv Ellis dug deep to unearth a list of players with at least 834 games played — Subban’s total, the lowest of the three — who won the match. most career Stanley Cup championships and individual awards and never played another game after that season.

The 2009-10 season saw 16 players who met the criterium of 834 games played, combined for a total of 28 Stanley Cup titles and 15 individual awards, fail to play again: Chris Chelios, Rod Brind’Amour, Darryl Sydor, Mathieu Schneider, Rob Blake, Bill Guerin, Scott Niedermayer, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Kirk Maltby, Miroslav Satan, Brad May, Stephane Yelle, Paul Kariya, Jere Lehtinen, Pavol Demitra and Aaron Ward.

On Tuesday, from his Florida home, Hall of Fame defender Larry Robinson first thought of Chara, whose 1,680 games have been the most played by anyone in that position.

“I remember Chara when he first came to the Islanders,” said Robinson, a six-time Stanley Cup winner with the Montreal Canadiens between 1973 and 1986, whose 1,384 games put him in 15th place all-time among defenders.

“He was a huge, huge, huge guy who had trouble skating. He had no balance, well, kind of balance, and he looked really a little out of place. I think they started working with him and he made himself a great hockey player. Everyone looks at how long he played, but look at the success he had.”

Robinson was a senior consultant with the St. Louis Blues in 2018-19 when Chara was a Brayden Schenn shot in the face during the second period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins captain would need two plates of wires and screws to repair multiple fractures to his jaw so that he can play until the end of the final, won by the Blues in seven games.

“The guy came back to the bench for the third period wearing a mouth and chin guard,” Robinson said. Chara didn’t play that period, but in Games 5, 6 and 7. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘Man, this is a man of great character and desire to win.’

“That’s why he can play for so long. He has kept his desire. He was about 40 years old and in recent years still fought against children. The last years of his career he still played the game the same way. Kudos to him. I am inspired and grateful for preserving the legacy of the defense. Good for him.”

In the Czech Republic, retired defender Jaroslav Spacek remembered Chara as a lanky teenager in the mid-1990s, skating for Sparta Praha and trying to break through in the Czech league.

“Everyone saw him as a huge guy, of course,” said Spacek, today’s head of youth through junior programs for general manager Martin Straka’s HC Plzen organization.

“He didn’t skate very well and then the Islanders drafted him (in 1996). Everyone was so surprised. But his work ethic got him where he went. He became the NHL captain and won the Stanley Cup. I think it was a pretty good career for him.”

Spacek broke through with the Florida Panthers in 1998, a year after Chara debuted with the New York Islanders.

“With Chara’s size and the small NHL rink, I wasn’t surprised he played as long as he did. That might have helped him,” Spacek said. “He’s been through a few different styles of hockey and he’s adapted to all of them. The NHL was more physical when we broke in, less like European hockey. After the lockout (2004-05) there was more speed, less contact. I was surprised how easily he handled it.”

Spacek, who played 880 NHL games for eight teams between 1998 and 2012, marvels at Yandle’s ironman record.

“That streak is unbelievable, especially for a defender,” he said of the durable Boston-born 6 feet tall and 192 pounds. “You go through the fights, all things around the net. It’s surprising that he’s kept that streak going for as long as he did.”

Robinson is also impressed by Yandle’s run.

“When I met him in Arizona, we were doing one of (Wayne) Gretzky’s fantasy camps and he happened to be in the area,” he said. “I was impressed. He’s not really small, but for a man who plays in that position, as big as he is, it’s very impressive that he can play for so long. Hats off to another player who is just as tall and played as well as he did.”

Brian Gionta captained Subban with the Canadiens for four seasons from 2010-14, with a front row seat for a sometimes larger-than-life defender.

“It’s not easy for a young man with the stardom he had in Montreal to deal with,” said Gionta from Buffalo. “You can say that PK was distracted by it, but you can also say that he still made a great career out of it. Lots of other guys have been swallowed up by the temptations of a great city and such a great team.”

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