Tomas Plekanec always wanted to finish his NHL career with the Canadiens, and did so Friday. However, it might have been sooner than what he expected. Habs general manager Marc Bergevin announced Friday that Plekanec would be placed on waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract, and the veteran center revealed at a subsequent news conference he is retiring from the NHL.
However, while he made it clear it was time to focus on his family, his two adorable sons, the veteran forward might not be done with hockey after all.
"Even millions of dollars in the NHL can not justify these two being unhappy and without both parents (together). I promised them that Montreal would be my last club in North America. I thank Montreal for everything and the Czech fans for the support. I am flying to Prague to see Dr. Pavel Kolar (a recognized sports doctor) and I will then study the various Czech offers on the table," he wrote on his Instagram account.
Plekanec will decide within the next two weeks whether he joins the Knights of Kladno, in the second league of the Czech Republic, to conclude his hockey career.
The veteran showed up for practice on Tuesday, according to local media Denik Sport. He was also seen discussing with the owner of the club, his good friend Jaromir Jagr. However, the same source pointed out to local media that Plekanec could still choose to play for another organization in his native country.
The 36-year-old took part in just three games this season after re-signing with Montreal over the summer following a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the trade deadline late last season. One of those games, Oct. 15 against the Detroit Red Wings, was the 1,000th of Plekanec's NHL career and featured his lone goal of the season.
Plekanec was a healthy scratch for the Habs' first three contests this season, then landed on injured reserve due to a lower back injury after playing Oct. 17 against the St. Louis Blues. Before that game, the Canadiens presented Plekanec with a silver stick in recognition of his 1,000th game.
The Canadiens selected Plekanec with the 71st overall pick in the 2001 NHL entry draft. The veteran forward also played 32 games with Kladno back in 2012-2013, when the NHL's activities were temporarily put on hold by an NHL lockout. Jagr had also played for this club at the same time.
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