We have a second retirement to announce this morning.
According to a report from National Hockey League player agent Rich Evans, his client Radim Vrbata has officially retired form play in the National Hockey League.Now that Vrbata's career is over and done with we can look back and analyze and the first thing that sticks out is the fact that he was a career over achiever.
Originally selected in the 7th round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft Vrbata was passed over 211 times in that draft, literally, but he would go on to prove to be one of the most dominant players in that draft. In fact in spite of being selected so deep in the draft only 3 players from that entire draft would go on to play in more games than him and recorded more points than him during his career. That becomes an even more unbelievable statistic when you realize that two of the guys elected that year were named Sedin.
The retirement was made official via a statement directly from Vrbata himself. The statement was released by Evans through his own personal social media and we have no doubts about it's authenticity as a result.
Here is Vrbata's statement in full and unedited:
Today I announce my retirement as a professional hockey player.
I want to thank the fans and all 7 organizations that I played for - Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, and Florida Panthers - and all the management and coaches who took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to play in the NHL for 16 years.I consider myself extremely fortunate to have played over 1000 NHL games and I am very grateful to have been part of the NHL for so long.
I know for a fact that I wouldn't have been able to play for so many years without the support and help of my teammates. I will always appreciate the chemistry and friendships both on and off the ice.
Big thank you to the trainers and equipment staff who I had the pleasure to work with and who were always so good to me. I really appreciate all the hard work you do.
I would also like to thank my longtime agent Rich Evans for his support, guidance, and friendship.
And most importantly I want to thank my family - my parents, especially my late father for his sacrifices and support, my brother, my wife Petra and our three kids Krystog, Oliver and Vincent. I could not have realized my dreams as a player without your love and support.
Classy move right there by Vrbata to put some shine on his father in spite of the fact that he knows full well his father is no longer around to appreciate it. Clearly just a son trying to let the world know how much of a role his dad played in where he is today and that to me is nothing short of beautiful.
This is the end of one chapter for Vrbata but also the beginning of another and I wish him nothing but the best in his future.