37-year-old Colorado Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere announced his retirement on Thursday after playing 597 games, winning a Stanley Cup in 2007, and winning the Conn Smythe trophy in 2003. He played a remarkable 16-season career
It seemed likely that Giguere was not in the Avalanche’s future plans after the team re-signed young backup Reto Berra in March, and no other team signed the veteran this offseason.
Giguere was the final active NHL player to play for the Hartford Whalers (Craig Adams was drafted by them, but didn’t play; Chris Pronger is not expected to play in the NHL again; and Hnat Domenichelli plays in Europe). He was drafted 13th overall by the Whalers in 1995.
Besides being one of the best goalies in the NHL in the 2000s (he was named to Sports Illustrated’s NHL all-decade second team in 2009), Giguere was known for being such an amazing mentor. Many of his young backups went on to have great success as starting goalies on different teams. Ilya Bryzgalov, Martin Gerber, Jonas Hiller, Jonas Gustavsson, and James Reimer were some of them, and he helped Semyon Varlamov reach some of his potential last season.
J-S Giguere is a part-owner of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, a team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and will likely be involved with the team next season.