After 15 stellar seasons in the NHL, Paul Kariya (36) has decided to hang up the skates and go into retirement. He spent 9 seasons with the Ducks, being the captain for 8 of them. Last season it looked like the Ducks would be getting another season with Kariya, but he decided to sit out with post-concussion symptoms.
Every Ducks fan was hoping for a Selanne-Kariya reunion, but unfortunately we won’t get to see it. This could be a factor in whether or not Selanne decides to come back. Selanne and Kariya frequently played on the same line together, in which they had fantastic chemistry. Kariya was a huge set-up man that stemmed Teemu’s great career.
Out of his 15 NHL seasons, 7 of those he has 30+ goals, 8 of them had 50+ assists and has reached 100 points twice. He has two Lady Byng awards, a Hobey Baker Memorial award and an Olympic Gold Medal.
Kariya took the 2010-2011 season off in hopes of having a full recovery from his concussion symptoms so that he could come back 100% for the next season. His doctors advised him not to play again due to the fact that chances of re-injury are too great. He has been knocked out several times, all do to illegal hits and it took a toll on him. Kariya had some words about the illegal hits and the NHL’s policy on them:
“The thing that I worry about,” Kariya said in an interview, “is that you’ll get a guy who is playing with a concussion, and he gets hit, and he dies at centre ice. Can you imagine what would happen to the league if a guy dies at centre ice?”
“If you want to get rid of it, I’m a believer that you don’t go after the employees, you go after the employers,” said Kariya. “The first concussion I had, on a brutal, blindside hit, the guy got a two-game suspension. That was in 1996. The last one, from (the Buffalo Sabres’ Patrick) Kaleta, was exactly the same play, and he doesn’t get anything.
That could not be more true of a statement. Something absolutely needs to be done with head-shots (whether intentional or not).
I would like to thanks Kariya for everything he has done for the Ducks and the NHL. One of the best players to ever play in the NHL. Hopefully we will see him within the league in the future.