NHL Playoff Tickets – 2010 NHL Season May Be Last for Some Stars
For the teams who don't make the playoffs, the most veteran players start toying with the decision to come back or retire. On Wed., April 4, it was the St. Louis Blues left wing Keith Tkachuk who announced the 2009-10 season would be his last. He has more than put in his time in the league, finishing with 19 seasons under his belt. In 66 games this season, he scored 13 goals and 17 assists. He has also played with the Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes and the Atlanta Thrashers. At the announcement, Tkachuk talked to the press, where he cited his health as a reason to step away. Along with his time in the NHL, Tkachuk has also played in multiple Olympics and has won a silver medal for his efforts.
Dallas Stars center Mike Modano isn't quite as decided as Tkachuk, but he could potentially also be retiring following the 2009-10 season. He told reporters he was contemplating retiring, and a decision will likely come from him after the season ends. Leaving the Stars would be harder on Modano than most, as he has spent his entire career with the franchise, dating back to when they were the Minnesota North Stars. He joined the North Stars when he was the first overall selection of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. In 57 games this season, he had 13 goals and 15 assists. Like Tkachuk, he has also made appearances in multiple Olympic Winter Games.
The Anaheim Ducks could have a big hole next season if right wing Teemu Selanne decides to retire. The 39-year-old star is still going strong, making him a little less likely to retire than other veterans. He has won a Stanley Cup Championship with the Ducks, meaning he doesn't have many milestones left to accomplish. This season, he scored 26 goals and 21 assists in 53 games. He has also played for the Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche.
Players aren't the only ones retiring after this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins' longtime home, Mellon Arena, will also retire following the 2009-10 season. Affectionately called "The Igloo" by fans, Mellon Arena has been a landmark of the NHL scene, but it also grew more dilapidated over the years. The Penguins will move into the Consol Energy Center next season. On the Penguins' website, star Sidney Crosby expressed his feelings on The Igloo and said, "When I got here I found out pretty quickly that this arena has an amazing feel. It's an atmosphere you have to be at to really describe. The crowd feels like it is really on top of you they are so involved in the game. It's a really fun building to play in."