Adrian Aucoin has retired. The 40-year-old defenseman who played over 1,000 NHL games for Vancouver, Tampa Bay, New York (Islanders), Chicago, Calgary, Phoenix, and Columbus made the announcement today via an NHLPA press release.
“Having the opportunity to realize my childhood dream of playing in the NHL, and being able to have played professional hockey for 20 seasons, has been an incredible experience,” said Aucoin. “I really enjoyed playing with and against some of the best players in the game, and getting the chance to play in front of such great hockey fans. Thanks to my family, teammates, friends, fans and everyone in the hockey community who helped me in my career. I will look back on it with fondness and pride for the rest of my life.”
Aucoin never won a Stanley Cup; most of the teams he played for weren’t championship contenders. But he did experience a good postseason run in 2012 with the Phoenix Coyotes, who made it all the way to the Western Conference Final.
And as noted in the press release, at least he can say he scored his first career NHL goal on his first shot in his first regular-season game on May 3, 1995.
All in all, a pretty good career for a guy chosen 117th overall in 1992.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.