Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/01/07 at 10:21 AM ET
from Russo’s Rants,
The Wild has called a 10:30 news conference for this morning at Xcel Energy Center where 37-year-old center Wes Walz, the Wild’s all-time leader with 438 games played, will announce his retirement from the NHL, two NHL sources confirmed Friday night.
Walz, one of two last Original Wild players along with Marian Gaborik, has been on indefinite leave from the team since Nov. 1. Walz’s 82 goals and 182 points rank second in franchise history behind Gaborik
Update 12:27pm ET— Press Release from the Minnesota Wild:
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Minnesota Wild veteran center Wes Walz, the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, announced his retirement Saturday morning at an Xcel Energy Center press conference.
“Wes stands for so many of the values we want our players to embody,” Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough said. “His level of preparation and passion was an example each day. On and off the ice he helped build the foundation of this organization. His legacy will extend far beyond today.”
Walz, 37 (5/15/70), retires as the Wild’s all-time games played leader with 438. He posted four points (1-3=4) in 11 games this season, and ends his career with 182 points (82-100=182) and 190 PIM in a Wild sweater. He is also the Wild’s all-time leader in shorthanded goals (14), shorthanded points (21) and ranks second on the all-time list in goals, game-winning goals (15) and points.
The 5-foot-10, 189-pound forward hails from Calgary, Alberta, and collected 260 points (109-151=260) and 343 PIM in 607 career NHL games. He skated in his 600th career NHL game Oct. 14 in Anaheim. He served as the Wild’s captain in December 2000 and March/April 2006, and was a permanent alternate captain in each of the last two seasons.
Originally selected by Boston in the third round (57th overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Walz was signed as a free agent by Minnesota on June 28, 2000 and was one of two original members of the Wild remaining with the club (Marian Gaborik).
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