It has been more than a couple of years now since Paul Ranger disappeared from the hockey world. No one is quite sure why he left. But we all wish him the best in his decision to leave the game.
The Whitby, Ontario native left the Tampa Bay Lightning in October 2009 on a personal leave of absence. At the time he was a 25 year old defenseman with four NHL seasons under his belt. He had a year left on his contract paying $1.1 million, but he left the team citing personal reasons and reportedly asked not to be paid during that time.
Ranger has never made a come back, and with each passing season it becomes less likely he ever will.
At 6.02, 215 lbs, Ranger had good size but even more importantly he was very mobile. He also possessed a hard slap shot although he seemed to prefer on a sharp, accurate wrist shot from the point. Coach John Tortorella praised Paul Ranger's prowess at making strong breakout passes. The Lightning had hoped Ranger could develop to the point where he took some offensive pressure of of Dan Boyle.
That never really happened, though. His best season was in 2007-08 when he tallied 10 goals and 31 points. His defensive game stagnated a bit, as he was accused of not maximizing his size. He needed to be a bit more aggressive to really stick in the NHL. Still, he was a serviceable top four d-man at the time he left the game.
This website will not speculate as to why Mr. Ranger left the game when he did. We only hope that he is happy and well in his new life.