Jamal Mayers, a veteran of over 900 NHL contests, has announced his retirement after 14 seasons.
“It really has been an amazing experience to have had the chance to play 14 seasons in the NHL, and finish it all off last season as a part of the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup,” said Mayers, through the NHLPA. “Thank you to my mother Doreen, who gave me every opportunity to play this game while doing a remarkable job as a single parent of two in Toronto, my brother Allan for everything he did and gave up for me, and my stepdad Alan Crosswell.
“I would also like to thank my teammates, friends and fans, as well as Larry Pleau, Pat Brisson, Jim Nice and each of the five organizations I was fortunate enough to play for in my career.”
A fourth-round pick at the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Mayers spent the first 10 years of his career in St. Louis, scoring a career-high 15 goals during the 2005-06 campaign.
A gritty, physical forward that wasn’t afraid to fight — he had over 100 career scraps, according to HockeyFights — Mayers enjoyed his best seasons with the Blues but had the most postseason success in the latter stages of the career, going to the Western Conference finals with San Jose in 2011 before winning a Cup with Chicago last season.
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”