Free agent forward Paul Stastny has confirmed his retirement from the NHL after a 17-season, 1,145-game career in an interview Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic published Tuesday.
The 37-year-old was a key two-way center for most of his career. Drafted in the second round by Colorado back in 2005, Stastny went on to play in eight seasons with the Avs where he made an immediate impact offensively, averaging nearly a point per game in his rookie season, finishing second in Calder Trophy voting. By the time his tenure with Colorado wrapped up, he was more of a defensive threat than an offensive one but that didn’t stop him from having a long career.
Stastny signed with St. Louis in time for the 2014-15 season where he spent parts of four seasons before being traded to Winnipeg as a rental at the trade deadline in 2018. After a two-year stop in Vegas in 2018-19 and 2019-20, he went back to Winnipeg for two more seasons before joining Carolina last season where he was down to 22 points in 73 games while playing exclusively in their bottom six.
Stastny acknowledged to LeBrun that there was some interest in him during the summer but he decided he wanted to wait it out for a bit to see how he felt. Then, as time progressed, he felt that retirement was the right choice for him. It wasn’t his intention to make his decision public, telling LeBrun that “I kind of came into the league quietly and I’m leaving the league quietly. That’s the way I like it.” He hasn’t ruled out returning to hockey in some sort of front office capacity down the road but that’s not on the immediate horizon.
Stastny hangs up his skates after 1,195 career NHL games where he had 293 goals and 529 assists. His 822 points put him in 20th place among U.S.-born players in league history.