NHL Free Agency 2011: 5 Players That Should Retire

Scott Semmler@@ScottSemmler22Analyst IIJuly 19, 2011

NHL Free Agency 2011: 5 Players That Should Retire

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    Free Agency 2011 is 18 days old, but with it comes a clear view of who belongs in this league and who does not.  In other words, free agency is a great way for players to decide whether or not to continue their careers by seeing how many teams, if any, desire their services.

    For NHL players, it comes down to injuries.  Can a team rely on that player given their age and injury history?

    Some players cannot help but come back for another season and continue their careers playing the game they love.  However, others overstay their welcome, which can lead to an ugly end to a very good career.

    Here are players that either should retire on top or accept their career and call it quits.

5. Nicklas Lidstrom

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    The Detroit Red Wings signed Lidstrom to a one-year deal this offseason, which means the 41-year-old will be back for his 20th season in the NHL.  Every single one has been with the Red Wings.

    Lidstrom can still contribute at 41 years old.  He tallied 62 points last season on the very talented Detroit team that lost to the Sharks in the second round.

    His career has been great and he has thrived in his later years in the NHL.

    Why continue?  Wouldn't it be great to go out at the top of your game after a long and successful career?

    What worries most is that this next season will most likely be his last, and if he does not perform or even gets hurt, that could be a low moment on a very high career for Lidstrom.

4. Chris Osgood

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    After rumors circulated that Osgood would be signed by the Red Wings earlier this week, it seems that the 38-year-old is going to call it a career on Tuesday.

    If the Wings signed Osgood, they would have passed up on free agent goalie Ty Conklin in order to take in Osgood for one last season before retirement.

    Maybe this was a sign for Osgood.

    It seemed for a moment that it was going to be the Red Wings or retirement, as there was no other teams calling the netminder.

    Today, it sounds like it is retirement.

    Osgood should take his three Stanley Cup titles and a superb career and call it quits before he overstays his welcome.

3. Alex Kovalev

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    Kovalev's career looks like it may be coming to an end due to lack of point production and a series of injuries.

    Although his playing days may not be over quite yet, the 38-year-old does not seem to have what it takes to play in the NHL anymore and could use a move to KHL to finish out his career.

    Kovalev had just seven points in 20 games last season for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

2. Mike Modano

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    Modano is one of the great American hockey players to every play the game, and yet his career may be just about done.

    The 41-year-old is currently a free agent, with a few teams rumored to desire his services. 

    Although Modano's productive hockey career may have ended a couple years ago, expect him to sign with one of those inquiring teams.

    I am not sure Modano feel like his career is completely over just yet.

1. Marc Savard

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    It seems that Savard's hockey career may be coming to an ugly close.

    Whether it was the memory problems revealed a couple months ago or the post-concussion symptoms that seemed to cause it, Savard needs to remove himself from the game.

    The 34-year-old was left off the Bruins roster on their way to a Stanley Cup victory this past season.

    He has played in just 66 games in the last two seasons with a total of 43 points.  He needs to let go of hockey for his health above anything else.