NHL: Marian Gaborik officially retires three years after his last game

Marian Gaborik officially retired from the National Hockey League on Thursday, more than three years after playing his final game.

He last played for the Ottawa Senators in March 2018 before having surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.

The No. 3 overall draft pick by the Minnesota Wild in 2000, he scored the first goal in Wild history on Oct. 6, 2000, at age 18.

Gaborik announces retirement

“It’s been a great honour and privilege to play in the best league in the world since I was 18 years old. The journey has been nothing short from spectacular, amazing and unbelievable. Many times, it’s been a roller coaster, but I always found the way back. Saying that, I’m so grateful and thankful to my family, my agent, teammates and coaches,” Gaborik, 39, wrote in a statement via NHLPA.

“I’d like to thank the Wild for drafting me and giving me a chance for my dream come true to play in the NHL. To my teammates, coaches and fans, thanks for helping me mature on and off the ice. Thank you to the Rangers for the experience of Sweet Caroline and living in the energy heaven of the world. Thank you to Columbus for a short stop, being supportive, helping me overcome injuries and trading me to Los Angeles to achieve my ultimate goal: Winning a Stanley Cup. Thank you to the Kings  my teammates, coaches and fans  for believing in me and for memories that I will never forget. Thank you to Ottawa for the respect you showed me and helping through tough times.”

Gaborik appeared in 1,035 games with the Minnesota Wild (2000-09), New York Rangers (2009-13), Columbus Blue Jackets (2013-14), Los Angeles Kings (2014-18) and Senators (2018). The Slovakia native had 815 points (407 goals, 408 assists) and 492 penalty minutes.

Among his career highlights, Gaborik was named MVP of the 2012 All-Star Game and won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2014. He topped 40 goals in three seasons, including in 2009-10 when he tallied 42 goals and 44 assists for the New York Rangers.

–Field Level Media