A National Hockey League veteran has hinted that he may be nearing the end of his career.
While he did not officially announce his retirement 36-year-old forward Radim Vrbata shocked hockey fans when he strongly hinted at the fact that we are seeing the final season of his career as an NHL player.
“This is probably my last season,” said Vrbata as per Craig Morgan of Fanrag Sports . “Hockey-wise and how the body feels and family-wise with the kids, I’m not saying it 100 percent, but this is probably where it’s going to go. I’ll be 37 in the summer so I think it’s time.”
The proclamation is extremely surprising not the least because Vrbata is coming off a full 81 game season with the Arizona Coyotes that saw him record 20 goals and 35 assists for an extremely respectable 55 points.
There's no question he can continue to produce offensively, despite the fact that he has seen a greatly diminished role in Florida this season, but Vrbata seems to be content to walk away into the sunset.
“There’s not too many guys at this age still playing. You see what is happening around the league. I’m in Florida with so many guys that are retired already, and they’re even younger than me. I’m happy that I’m still here but I’m OK with it coming to an end.”
If he does indeed retire it will be with over 1000 career NHL games under his belt, games he split between the Avalanche, Hurricanes, Blackhawks, Coyotes, Lightning, Canucks and Panthers, as well over 600 career NHL points, a number that he will continue to add to throughout this regular season with the Panthers.
We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.