Tomas Plekanec’s NHL career came to an end on Friday.
The Montreal Canadiens announced that the 36-year-old Plekanec was being placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.
“I always wanted to retire a Montreal Canadien,” Plekanec said.
“The organization made a hockey decision regarding the future of Pleky,” said Bergevin. “It was a tough decision to make. Tomas will always be a part of the Canadiens family.”
The decision, according to Bergevin, was mutual, and Plekanec’s $2.25M cap hit will come off the team’s books.
Plekanec isn’t sure what’s next, only that he wants to continue playing and will try to do so in Europe, possibly joining HC Kladno of the Czech Republic, the team that Jaromir Jagr plays for and owns.
The 15-year veteran played only three games this season after returning to Montreal following a brief stop with the Toronto Maple Leafs at the end of last season. Plekanec, a third round pick of the Habs in 2001, reached the 1,000-game mark on Oct. 15 and leaves the NHL with 233 goals and 608 points.
All but 17 of his 1,001 NHL games came with the Canadiens.
“I’m going to miss the guys. It’s another family, coming here every morning,” Plekanec said. “Now, it’s gone. It’s something I’m going to miss, for sure. I’m going to watch them and cheer for them.”