Michael Peca spent five seasons with the Buffalo Sabres and built lasting relationships with Curtis Brown, Jay McKee and Marty Biron. When he moved on to Long Island, Jason Blake soon became one of his best friends. In fact, it’s a pattern that followed him through each of his six stops over 13 seasons in the NHL.
And on the day he officially announced his retirement from hockey, it wasn’t particular wins or losses he was left reflecting on, but all the people he met along the way. “I made so many friendships in the game that I can’t imagine my life today having not met the hundreds or more people that I’ve come across,” Peca said Tuesday from his home outside of Buffalo. “That’s really what defines our lives — the people that you meet and the people that you keep close to.” Peca won gold with Team Canada at the 2002 Olympics and was part of two Stanley Cup finalists — the 1999 Buffalo Sabres and 2006 Edmonton Oilers.