Hamrlik retires

Czech defenceman calls it a career after 20 NHL seasons


Roman Hamrlik played 1,395 games in the NHL. One of his teams was the Edmonton Oilers. Photo: Dave Sandford / HHOF

MONTREAL – Roman Hamrlik announced his retirement on Monday, closing out a long career. He played 1,395 NHL games and was on the Czech team that won gold in the 1998 Olympics.

“After much thought and consideration I have decided to end my hockey career as of today. As a kid growing up in communist Czechoslovakia, I never imagined that I would one day have the opportunity to play in the National Hockey League. It has been a great honor, and a privilege, to spend 20 seasons playing in the greatest hockey league in the world. I will always cherish the wonderful memories I have of my time spent in North America while playing the game I love, making sacrifices and pursuing my hockey dreams.”

The 39-year-old Zlin native won the 1991 and 1992 IIHF U18 European Championships with Czechoslovakia and also represented the country in the 1992 IIHF U20 World Championship. He later moved on to play for the Czech senior national team, competing in two World Championships and two World Cups. Hamrlik’s biggest international success came in 1998 when was on the Czech Olympic team that won gold in Nagano.

"I would also like to recognize my hometown of Zlin, Czech Republic and its excellent hockey program. This is where my hockey dreams were born and where my skills were first honed. I would like to thank all of my coaches and teammates with whom I played with there as a young man. Each of you helped me to continue to develop and ultimately represent Zlin and the Czech Republic, both in the NHL, and also on the international hockey stage.”

“With that in mind, I cannot forget the 1998 Czech Republic Olympic hockey team, under the guidance and leadership of coach Ivan Hlinka. I am so proud to have been a part of such a memorable tournament and the incredible victory of the Czech Republic, in the tournament of the century, is something I will cherish always.”

Drafted first overall in 1992, at the NHL level Hamrlik played in 1,395 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers. He had 638 points on 155 goals and 483 assists and played in three NHL All-Star Games (1996, 1999, 2003).



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