Saying goodbye to familiar faces is never an easy endeavor, especially if the departure could be argued as premature.
Paul Kariya’s NHL career was cut short after a bout with post-concussion syndrome kept him off the ice for the 2010-2011 season. The same ailment has forced him to hang up the skates for good as he announced his retirement earlier this summer.
Kariya split his 15-season career between four teams, starting with the team formerly known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, moving to Colorado for a single season, then to Nashville for a brief two-year stint and ending in St. Louis for the final three seasons.
Kariya had two seasons with over 100 points and managed to hit the 50-goal plateau once, and that’s just the basic statistics.
This speedy forward adds two Lady Byng Trophies, four puck-control competition championships, six appearances in the NHL All-Star Game and an Olympic Gold Medal to his resumé making him a definite candidate for acknowledgement in the NHL Hall of Fame.
Here is a short list including a handful of the many highlights from Kariya’s possibly Hall of Fame worthy career.
We’ll start out our list on a pretty light and goofy foot, with Kariya scoring in one of the worst attempts at a throwback NHL jersey ever.
But the fashion faux pas wouldn’t stop Kariya from tallying up a goal in Anaheim’s favor. Check out the video for the first example that defines Kariya as a lethal sniper.
Kariya’s impressive scoring statistics made a significant splash, mainly when he played for Anaheim and Nashville.
Watching one of the original Mighty Ducks score against his former team tugs at the heartstrings a bit, so this goal deserves a spot on the list.
There’s not much that is more impressive than embarrassing a fantastic team, and Kariya did just that in this 2010 video.
After a pretty feed by David Backes, Kariya manages to slide through and split two Detroit defenders, show off his beautiful puck handling abilities and manages to put the puck in the back of the goal.
It isn’t too often that you watch a player, who is falling on his stomach, still find the back of the net.
But then again, you don’t come by a talent like that of Paul Kariya’s all too often either. So this acrobatic goal definitely deserves a nod of approval on this list.
Honestly, there had to be at least one video of a hat trick when you’re talking about a scoring guru like Paul Kariya. So why not include a pretty amazing demonstration of Kariya’s skills at the same time?
The first of the three goals from this 2007 game is standard Kariya style, snapping a rocket from the top of the circle with nothing less than perfect placement.
The second tally was an impressive game-tying goal through lots of traffic, with plenty of credit going to the pass from Boyes.
Finally, the last goal was another game-tying goal, this one came with the extra attacker from a pulled goalie with just under 11 seconds remaining in the game.
Paul Kariya has always been known for his impressive skating ability, his speed and his talent for scoring. This video is great footage of Kariya’s agility and how he just seemed to dance around any of his opponents.
After all of the deking and impressive stick handling away from the back-checking Hurricane, Kariya sends a perfect pass to line mate Teemu Selanne who had no problem finding nothing but net.
The small-statured Kariya, who stands 5’10, 180-pounds, holds the current record for the most championships in the puck control competition with four straight wins from 1999-2002.
Here’s just one of the puck handling competitions where he wins by a pretty decisive margin.
For a player who racked up a total of 402 career goals, the 400-goal plateau was definitely a goal for the books.
The trio of Backes, Oshie and Kariya seemed to have a great connection when they were all healthy. This video demonstrates that chemistry that helped Kariya hit that monumental 400-goal mark.
When it comes to peaks in a player’s career, so few actually reach that 50-goal mark that when Paul Kariya did it for the first time in franchise history, it’s absolutely a moment to remember.
Kariya managed to backhand the puck into the goal behind the Winnipeg Jets netminder, and in short, his celebration says it all.
This is what I call “ending with a bang.”
After getting completely laid out early in the second period of the 2003 playoffs against the New Jersey Devils.
Not only did the Anaheim captain return to the bench, which alone shocked everyone in the building, but he came back with the fire that Anaheim needed. Kariya was back with a vengeance.
Kariya ended up helping the Ducks to force a game seven with a goal in the third period off one of his trademark sniper slap shots.