NHL (Belated) News: Jamal Mayers Announces Retirement

Image courtesy of ESPN.

A couple of days late to this one, but as per TSN, veteran NHL forward Jamal Mayers has announced his retirement from the NHL.

The 39-year old had 14 seasons in the best league in the world for five different teams, and will primarily be remembered as a versatile and useful utility player.  Tough, defensively reliable, and not completely without offensive skill, he skated in 915 games and logged a respectable 90 goals and 219 points.

Following a very good career in NCAA hockey for Western Michigan, he turned pro with the organisation that had taken him in the 4th round of the 1993 Draft, St Louis.  He spent most of the first three years of his pro career plying his trade in the AHL, but never saw another minute in the minor leagues (lock-outs excepted) after the 1998/99 season.

Spending the next eight full NHL seasons in Missouri, he blossomed into a very good bottom six player, contributing in all areas of the rink, and in 2007 even represented Canada at the World Championships in Russia.  He enjoyed a productive tournament, scoring 4 goals and 5 points, not to mention winning a Gold Medal as part of the last Canadian entry to-date to emerge victorious at the event.

Traded to Toronto in 2008, he continued his solid two-way play, but in 2010 was included in the package which brought lightning-rod defenseman Dion Phaneuf to the Center of the Universe from Calgary.  He spent the remainder of the season with the Flames, but in the off-season signed with San Jose as an unrestricted free agent.

Following what turned out to be a typical Jamal Mayers season with the Sharks, he signed with the powerhouse Blackhawks in 2011, adding a veteran presence and depth to their already veteran and deep lineup.  Still receiving decent bottom six minutes at this stage of his career, Mayers proved useful enough to the Hawks that they decided to keep him around for another year.

He only played 19 games for the team in the lockout shortened 2012/13 season, and didn’t feature at all in the playoffs, but nonetheless when the team won the Stanley Cup that season, Mayers was right there as a member of the team, with management successfully petitioning for Mayers’ name to appear on the hallowed trophy.

A fitting end to a career that, while not quite describable as “illustrious”, was nonetheless highly commendable for a long-shot 4th rounder who found his niche, carved it out, and excelled at it.

Congratulations Jamal Mayers, you earned it.

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