Former San Jose Sharks captain Owen Nolan announces retirement -NHL Update
In what was an emotional moment for one of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) most colourful personalities, former San Jose Sharks captain, Owen Nolan, announced his retirement from the North American major league on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, in San Jose, California, alongside a number of the team’s members.
Nolan, a soon to be 40-year-old player who spent the last 2010-2011 regular season abroad playing for the ZSC Lions in Zurich, Switzerland, made the news official during a press conference in which hearing his voice crack and emotions take over was apparent.
For many observers, seeing when he left the national league to play with foreign teams, that right there was a sign that he would be announcing his retirement soon, which has now come.
"I was very fortunate to play 18 seasons, 1,200 games in the League, and today I'm announcing my retirement," said Nolan."I guess I've known this day was here for a while. When your body won't do what your mind and your heart is willing to do, it's time to move on. I've enjoyed every minute of it. I've had the opportunity to play with some great players and great teammates."
Nolan, a Belfast, United Kingdom native, was selected as the first overall pick during round-one of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques.
San Jose general manager, Doug Wilson, was also by the veteran players side during the press conference as he retired after which he retired Owen Nolan as a San Jose Shark player, an honour which he was hoping for.
"This was a handshake deal," Wilson said. "But the ultimate thing was to have him retire as a San Jose Shark. That's something that he wanted and we wanted badly."
Nolan played five consecutive seasons with the Nordiques before a single season run with Colorado Avalanche, during which he was traded to the San Jose Sharks during the 1995-1996 season.
Owen Nolan also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames and finally the Minnesota Wild for a total of 1,200 games, 885 points (422 goals, 463 assists), making him one of the best the league has ever seen.