On Friday, longtime NHL goalie Mathieu Garon announced his retirement.
“For the past 13 years, I have been fortunate to earn my living playing hockey in the National Hockey League,” Garon said in a statement released by CAA, his representation (per ESPN). “I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my teammates, coaches and, most importantly, the fans. Every city I played in, the fans always welcomed my family and me with open arms. I will cherish the memories and friendships I made during my career. Finally, I want to say a special thank you to my family, who have been incredibly supportive of me throughout my career. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to live my dream.”
Garon, 36, was taken by Montreal with the 44th overall pick at the ’96 draft and spent four seasons with the Habs before getting traded to L.A. With the Kings, Garon enjoyed his finest season, recording 31 wins in 2005-06 while posting a career-high four shutouts.
In 2009, Garon was dealt to Pittsburgh months before the start of the playoffs and won a Cup with the Penguins, serving as Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup while making one postseason relief appearance.
Garon had a mini-renaissance with the Lightning in 2011-12, posting a 23-16-4 record, but struggled in his final campaign (the lockout-shortened ’13 season) and failed to latch on with a club this year, eventually making 18 appearances in the KHL for Avangard Omsk.
Another day, another University of North Dakota player deciding to enter the professional hockey ranks.
This time, it was 21-year-old forward Luke Johnson who turned pro following his junior year, as he signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
In 43 games with the NCAA champions this season, Johnson scored 11 goals and 21 points, three off his college career high set the previous year.
Johnson will forgo his senior year at North Dakota, bumping the number of players from that program’s junior class to turn up to four since the end of the season. Keaton Thompson signed with the Anaheim Ducks, Troy Stecher inked with the Vancouver Canucks and Paul LaDue signed with the L.A. Kings.
Senior forward Drake Caggiula, now a free agent, has reportedly narrowed down his list of NHL suitors to six teams.
Brock Boeser, a 2015 first-round pick and coming off an impressive freshman year, will return to North Dakota for his sophomore year, as per Canucks general manager Jim Benning earlier this month.
Perhaps it’s an ominous sign of bad luck to come, but for which team?
Prior to puck drop between the host San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators in Game 1 on Friday, a black cat hit the ice at SAP Center, taking a nervous stroll along the boards.
Not sure exactly where it came from, although it’s possible someone was feeling extra superstitious before the start of this series.
Official update on the really important story of the evening:
The Dallas Stars scored a late winner, held on in the final minute and eventually struck first in their best-of-seven second-round series with the St. Louis Blues.
Once again, it was the speed and skill of the Stars that proved to be the difference in the end. Radek Faksa scored with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, breaking the deadlock and giving Dallas a 2-1 victory and 1-0 series lead over their Central Division foes on Friday.
As he entered the zone on the rush, Faksa dished off to a flying Ales Hemsky, who was denied by Brian Elliott in alone. But Faksa followed up, jamming in the rebound to give the Stars the lead, as both St. Louis defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo were caught by the speed of the Dallas forwards on the rush.
The Stars held on from there, as the Blues made a late push to tie the game.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 32 shots for Dallas, while Elliott was busy throughout the night, stopping 40 of 42 shots.
Elliott was furious after the Stars opened the scoring in the second period, as Antoine Roussel tallied on a rebound after yet another nice Dallas passing play in the offensive zone.
Stars forward Patrick Eaves left the game early in the third period and didn’t play another shift after being hit in the lower part of his leg with the puck from a point shot.
The Dallas Stars grabbed the all-important first goal in Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues on Friday. And it was agitating forward Antoine Roussel who capitalized in the second period.
Roussel buried a rebound at the end of a pretty passing play from the Stars. Blues goalie Brian Elliott was furious, as defenseman Jay Bouwmeester slid into the crease in an attempt to block the shot.