Leclaire, taken eighth overall by Columbus at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, cited a recurring hip injury as the reason for hanging up his skates.
That an injury ended his career isn’t all that surprising — Leclaire dealt with health issues throughout his seven years in the NHL…
— 2006-07: Missed over 40 games with a knee injury.
— 2008-09: Missed over 40 games with an ankle injury.
–2009-10: Missed over 20 games with a concussion and broken jaw.
— 2010-11: Missed over 40 games with the aforementioned hip injury.
Leclaire also had three surgeries performed last season — which he sat out entirely — to try and correct the hip issue, but to no avail.
It’s a sad ending to a once promising career. Leclaire appeared destined for good things when, in 2007-08, he finished second in the NHL with nine shutouts, seventh in GAA (2.25) and 11th in save percentage (.919).
That season also marked the first time Columbus eclipsed the 80-point plateau in franchise history.
Leclaire was traded to Ottawa at the 2009 trade deadline and briefly held the Sens starting gig. The highlight of his time in the Canadian capital came during an opening-round playoff loss to Pittsburgh in 2010 — Leclaire was brilliant in Ottawa’s triple-OT Game 5 win, stopping 56 of 59 shots, finishing as the game’s first star.