Though he hasn’t played in an NHL game since the end of the 2017-18 season, Matt Stajan officially announced his retirement today. The 35-year old spent last season playing in the German DEL, but will hang up his skates after a long and productive professional career. The former Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames forward released a long letter through the NHLPA that thanked both organizations as well as his German team. A snippet:
As a kid growing up in Mississauga, Ontario, it was my dream to one day play in the NHL. To have had this dream come true, and have been able to play the sport that I love so much for so many years, is something I feel extremely fortunate and grateful for. The memories that I have made will truly last a lifetime.
Thank you to the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Calgary Flames organizations for giving me the opportunity to play and compete in the best league in the world. I wore both jerseys with great pride, and I will be forever grateful for the experiences that came along with that. Also, thank you EHC Red Bull Munich it was a great experience to play overseas for such a great organization.
Stajan played 1,003 regular season games in the NHL, but incredibly only made it to the playoffs three times. Not only was he a consistent two-way center for years, but Stajan was extremely well-respected by his teammates and served as an NHLPA player rep for a good chunk of his career. Mark Giordano, Luke Schenn and Matthew Tkachuk all lent their voice to his retirement announcement, each using the phrase “best teammate” in reference to Stajan.