SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick is expected to announce his retirement Thursday, ending the provocative hockey star’s 20-year career.
The Sharks have scheduled a news conference for Thursday in which Roenick will make an announcement about his career. The nine-time all-star has scored 1,216 points, third-most among American-born players in NHL history.
Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, the Sharks’ television broadcaster, said the 39-year-old Roenick planned to retire. Roenick didn’t immediately return a phone call or text message from The Associated Press.
Roenick all but announced his intention to retire last spring, when his second season in San Jose ended with the top-seeded Sharks’ stunning first-round ouster from the playoffs.
With 513 goals and 703 assists, Roenick is tied with Larry Murphy for 39th place on the NHL’s career scoring list.
The Massachusetts native trails only Mike Modano and Phil Housley among American NHL scorers, while Modano and Keith Tkachuk are the only Americans with more goals than Roenick, 36th on the career goals list.
Roenick is a two-time Olympian, but the motormouthed centre never won a Stanley Cup during a memorable career with Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Jose.
He was set to retire in 2007 after building his dream home in Arizona, but a phone call from Sharks general manager Doug Wilson persuaded him to return to the league for two more seasons as a veteran mentor with the Sharks.
Roenick has long been known for his frank views on hockey and life, and he often stirred controversy with fans and teammates alike with his uncensored opinions.
He engaged in a memorable public argument with Colorado goalie Patrick Roy during the 1996 playoffs, and Roenick angered both the players’ union and the league with his views on the lockout that scuttled the 2004-05 season. He also had bitter words for USA Hockey when he wasn’t selected for the 2006 U.S. Olympic team in Turin, Italy.
Yet Roenick was a thoroughly positive influence during his two seasons in San Jose, where he was beloved by fans and teammates alike as a hardworking leader.
Roenick was the eighth overall pick by Chicago in the 1988 draft, and the 18-year-old made his NHL debut later that year. He reached the playoffs in each of his first 12 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks and the Coyotes, even making it to the Stanley Cup finals with Chicago in 1992, but never got closer to a championship.