Markus Naslund, Rangers "A" And Former Canucks "C" Is Leaving NHL

Martin AverySenior Writer IMay 3, 2009

WASHINGTON - APRIL 28:  Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals shakes the hand of Markus Naslund #91 of the New York Rangers after defeating him during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 28, 2009 at the Verizon Center in Washington,  DC.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

It appears to be official! Markus Naslund is retiring from the New York Rangers.

After a disappointing season with the New York Rangers, Former Vancouver Canuck captain Markus Naslund plans to retire, according to reports in the Vancouver Sun and New York Post.

Naslund  told his Rangers teammates he will walk away from the final year on his contract, and has apparently told New York GM Glen Sather that he will retire effective immediately.

Naslund has one year left on a two-year $8 million contract that would have paid him $3 million for the 2009-10 season, according to Rotoworld."How may athletes do you know that would have walked away from a payout of $2 million?" they asked.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that without Naslund, the Blueshirts have approximately $37.87 million committed to nine core players—under a cap that is expected to come in between $56-57 million if the NHLPA exercises its five-percent bump.

Naslund had 24 goals and 46 points, but was a minus-10 in 82 regular-season games with the Rangers this season.  He had three points in the Rangers' first-round playoff series with the Washington Capitals.

Naslund, 35, signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Rangers last July after he did not receive an offer from new Canucks general manager Mike Gillis, who previously served as Naslund's agent, according to the Sun.

Naslund played 884 regular-season games with the Canucks and is the franchise's all-tiume leader in goals (346) and points (756). He was team captain from 2000-2008.