Like every year, hockey fans will see several big names retiring next summer. The next offseason could also mark a turning point in hockey, with some Hall of Fame members moving on.
Here are six candidates for retirement who could make their last lap this winter.
Zdeno Chara, 43 years old
The oldest player in the National Hockey League (NHL) is still effective, but it is clear that his role is diminishing from year to year.
Having accepted a one-season contract with the Washington Capitals, Chara would need to be very persuasive in convincing the Capitals, or another team, to employ him next year, since he turns 44 in March.
Joe Thornton, 41
Thornton left the San Jose Sharks for the Toronto Maple Leafs with a clear goal of winning the Stanley Cup before retiring. If the Ontario team succeeds, it’s a safe bet that “Big Joe” will not return to the game next fall.
Jason Spezza, 37
Like Thornton, Spezza accepted a one-season contract with the Maple Leafs. However, Spezza’s attacking role is definitely a thing of the past, having been limited to 27 points or less in the last three campaigns.
Spezza is also looking for a first haircut. Such an outcome would certainly facilitate his decision next summer.
Patrick Marleau, 41 years old
Marleau never stays away from San Jose for long. He has in fact signed a pact that will allow him to make a third stay with the team. Also holding a one-season contract, he however had his worst offensive season in 2019-2020 with 11 goals and 22 points in 66 games.
Ryan Miller, 40
During the forced break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Miller openly raised the possibility of retiring. He has, however, agreed to another one-season extension with the Anaheim Ducks, in preparation for what will likely be his last season on the Bettman Tour.
Henrik Lundqvist, 38
Having undergone open heart surgery in December, Lundqvist will not play for the Washington Capitals this season after accepting a one-season contract. He then insisted that he was on his way home.
At this age, however, the challenge remains enormous.
Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Bobr Times, Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7116