Veteran forward Darche announces retirement


Former Columbus, Nashville, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Montreal winger Mathieu Darche announced his retirement on Tuesday….via Twitter!


(The text is small, but reads: “Time to make it official! Moving on to second career.”)

Darche, 36, had been skating and working out with New Jersey over the last month. Last week, the Devils informed Darche they wouldn’t be offering him a contract this season.

Despite heading into 2012-13 without a job, Darche was an active member of the NHLPA and played a major role in CBA negotiations during the lockout.

CBC’s Tim Wharnsby wrote about that tenuous situation back in September:

There is no guarantee that some owners and some general managers won’t hold a grudge with a union man like Darche, making it even more difficult for him to find a place to play. But the thoughtful veteran is steadfast in his belief that his time alongside his brethren and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr will be worth it.

“You’re trying to make things better for the union,” Darche said. “I know it’s a bit of a risk. But players have done this before me in 1994 and 2004. You can go back as far as Ted Lindsay when you think of it.

“Just because I’m 35 and my career could be over if there is a long lockout, it would be pretty hypocritical of me to say let’s play because it won’t affect my salary that much and I’m at the end of my career.”

A Quebec native, Darche’s best season came with the Montreal Canadiens in 2010-11, as he scored a career-high 12G-14A-26PTS in 59 games.


In case you missed it, Mark Parrish retired

Jaroslav Spacek announces retirement

Sean O’Donnell announces retirement

Rolston “more than likely” to retire

Brunette officially retires, becomes Wild hockey ops advisor

Detroit’s Holmstrom makes retirement official: “I had a great job”

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith