Just days shy of his 40th birthday, Owen Nolan has decided to retire. He made the announcement in San Jose on Tuesday, although he didn’t sign the often traditional one-day contract to make his last team officially the Sharks. Nonetheless, he spent eight years of his career with the Sharks, a team he also captained.
Nolan won Olympic gold with Canada in 2002 and World Championship gold in 1997, but for an earlier trade he might have joined the Triple Gold Club. A first overall draft choice in 1990 by the Quebec Nordiques, Nolan was part of that team that was terrible for many years only to rise to Stanley Cup glory during its first year after moving to Colorado.
Unfortunately, he was traded by the Avalanche to the Sharks after nine games and missed getting his name on the Cup, missing as well the chance to join the Triple Gold Club. In all, he played 18 seasons and 1,200 NHL games.
He played the 2010-11 season with the ZSC Lions Zurich in the Swiss league and wanted to return to the NHL this season, but he was released after a brief tryout with the Vancouver Canucks last September, a clear indication he likely wasn’t going to be able to catch on in the league again.
Although he was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he and his family moved to Thorold, Ontario, when he was a year old.