PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Longtime NHL forward Bill Guerin, unable to land a contract this season, retired Monday after a career in which he scored 429 goals in 18 seasons with eight teams.
The Pittsburgh Penguins honoured Guerin before Monday night’s game against New Jersey, his first NHL club. Guerin was given a framed portrait and a trip to Hawaii.
Guerin spent his final 1½ seasons with the Penguins, scoring seven goals in 24 playoff games during their run to a Stanley Cup title in 2009. He also won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995, the team that drafted him No. 5 overall in 1989. He made his NHL debut with New Jersey during the 1991-92 season.
The former Boston College player scored at least 25 goals eight times, including a career-high 41 with Boston during a 66-point season in 2001-02. He had a career-high 69 points on 34 goals and 35 assists with Dallas in the 2003-04 season.
Pittsburgh didn’t offer the 40-year-old Guerin a contract this season, and the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t sign him following a pre-season tryout.
“I was OK with it being over,” Guerin said. “My heart was here (in Pittsburgh). There was no reason for me to keep hanging on.”
Guerin is expected to take a scouting or administrative position with the Penguins.
“I’m trying to figure out what I want to do,” Guerin said. “I do want to stay in the game.”
Guerin also played with Edmonton, Boston, Dallas, St. Louis, San Jose and the New York Islanders during a career in which he had 427 assists and 856 points in 1,263 games. The Massachusetts native played on U.S. Olympic teams in 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Guerin had 26 goals and 31 assists in 95 games with Pittsburgh over parts of two seasons after being dealt by the Islanders in March 2009. Last season, he had 21 goals and 24 assists in 79 games, mostly playing on Sidney Crosby’s line.
“I ended with a good year,” Guerin said. “That’s how I wanted it. I feel like I’m going out on my terms.”