Paul Kariya will not play next season; If his career is over, is he Hall of Fame worthy?


Thumbnail image for paulkariya1.jpgIt’s been a night of bad news for veteran NHL hockey players, with Nikolai Khabibulin receiving a guilty verdict for extreme DUI charges and now, apparently, the future of Paul Kariya’s career in greater doubt.

Kariya’s agent Don Baizley released this statement for his client.

“Paul Kariya will not play hockey during the 2010/11 season. After being examined by concussion specialist Dr. Mark Lovell, Paul is not able to play hockey due to post-concussion syndrome.”

The interesting thing about that statement is that Baizley says he will miss the 2010-11 season, but doesn’t outright say that Kariya is retiring from hockey altogether. Still, considering the fact that the once-great forward will turn 36 around the beginning of next season, it’s pretty difficult to avoid the assumption that this is it for Kariya.

If this is indeed the last we’ve seen of Kariya, he’ll leave the game as an interesting Hall of Fame question. He scored exactly a point per game in his regular season, with 989 points in 989 games (402 goals and 587 assists). From a mere “neat and clean numbers” standpoint, you have to think he’d look a lot better if he eked out 11 more points to hit the 1,000 mark. Kariya hit a solid 39 points in 46 playoff games, as well.

His final two seasons weren’t very impressive, though, with 43 points in 75 games last season following an abysmal 15-point, 11-game 2008-09 campaign.

My instinct is to say that Kariya is a few strides short of Hall of Fame quality, despite the great years he had running shotgun with Teemu Selanne in Anaheim. Still, that’s just my opinion. I want to know what you readers think: if this is it for Kariya, did he accomplish enough in his 15-year NHL career to make the Hockey Hall of Fame? Vote below.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin
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The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.