After an off-season of speculation that had Travis Zajac returning to the Islanders for one more season, he announced his retirement today.
Before doing so, the NJ Devils gave him a one-day contract in order for him to retire as a member of the franchise that drafted him.
The first round selection, 20th overall from the 2004 Draft played 1024 games with the Devils before being traded to the Islanders at the deadline this season for 13 more.
Travis Zajac retires
“After just taking time off I really didn’t have that desire to keep training, keep pushing myself. I kind of feel like I ran out of a little gas, and being around the family a lot more was starting to have a real big impact on my life,” Zajac explained his decision. “Being home for dinners, being around the kids’ sports, involved in school, that was a lot of fun to me and I really love being a part of that. The sacrifices you have to make to continue to play, I didn’t have that internal push to really keep going.”
The 36 year-old Zajac isn’t leaving the game though. Also announced today, he will stay in the Devils organization as a consultant in player development.
“I’m looking forward to me and my family being around the Devils organization,” he said. “We’re not leaving New Jersey. It’s just a new beginning.”
Zajac finishes his career with 1037 games played, 203 goals, 349 assists, for a total of 552 points.