Another new season is upon us. A clean sheet of ice awaits, like a blank canvas, for hockey's artists and storytellers to create new verses full of heroes and villains, and of course plenty of intrigue.
Before we drop the puck the on the new season, I wanted to take a moment to say good bye. Good bye to the hockey players who have hung up their blades and put away their sticks. Good bye to the retiring class of 2010.
Amongst those retiring are three defensemen destined for the Hockey Hall of Fame, probably as soon as they gain eligibility in three years time.
Also sure to garner Hall of Fame discussion will be Rod Brind'Amour and Keith Tkachuk.
Brind'Amour, a fitness fanatic, gained a reputation as a great two way player and a leader. The ultimate team player played 21 NHL seasons, scoring 452 goals and 732 assists in 1,484 regular-season games.
For a couple of seasons in the mid 1990s Keith Tkachuk could have been considered the best power forward in the game. He stretched his career to 19 seasons, where he scored 538 goals and 1065 points in 1201 career games.
Also leaving the game are Darryl Sydor, Mike Van Ryn, Darcy Tucker, Mathieu Dandenault, Georges Laraque, and Riley Cote.
Notable players leaving the NHL to end continue their careers in Europe are Evgeni Nabokov, Cristobal Huet, Pavol Demitra, Richard Park, Marek Svatos, Lukas Krajicek, Martin Skoula, Robert Nilsson, Denis Grebeshkov, Kyle Wellwood and Glen Metropolit. For a full list of players, NHL and otherwise, transfering to and from Europe, click here.
We may also have see the end of Paul Kariya. The three time first all star is sitting this season out to deal with the lingering effects of post-concussion syndrome.