By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Today, October 1st, veteran forward Lee Stempniak officially announced his retirement from the National Hockey League after spending the past thirteen seasons in the league for various franchises.
Lee Stempniak was drafted in the in the fifth-round (148th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues, but did not make his NHL debut until the 2005-06 season, accumulating 14-13-27 numbers in 57 games played with the Blues. Stempniak would play a full three seasons with St. Louis before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in November of 2008 in exchange for Alexander Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo.
In Toronto, Stempniak played a combined 123 games before being shipped off to the then-Phoenix Coyotes in a trade deadline move in 2010. Over the course of his career, Stempniak played for ten teams across the league and many of which were because of trades during the trade deadline period of the regular season. Below is the full list of teams the West Seneca, New York native played for.
- St. Louis Blues (2005-2009) – 57-73-180
- Toronto Maple Leafs (2009-2010) – 25-36-61
- Phoenix Coyotes (2010-2011) – 33-23-56
- Calgary Flames (2011-2014) – 31-52-83
- Pittsburgh Penguins (2014-2014) – 4-7-11
- New York Rangers (2014-2015) – 9-9-18
- Winnipeg Jets (2015-2015) – 6-4-10
- New Jersey Devils (2015-2016) – 16-25-41
- Boston Bruins (2016, 2019) – 3-7-10
- Carolina Hurricanes (2016-2018) – 19-30-49
During his NHL career, Lee Stempniak played in 911 regular season games, amassing a combined total of 203 goals, 266 assists for 469 points. The majority of his career was spent in St.Louis where he played a total of 233 games followed by the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Evidently, the 36-year-old was never a high-scoring player within the National Hockey League, but brought some decent depth scoring to teams that were trying to contend or needed an additional piece to their roster in the case of injuries. When it comes to the Boston Bruins, Stempniak did not have a long tenure with the B’s. He only played in a combined total of 21 games, scoring three goals and seven assists for ten points.
In an official press release, Lee Stempniak said the following regarding his decision to retire from the NHL. Quote comes from the NHLPA.
“I am honoured and privileged to have played in the NHL for 13 seasons and I am extremely grateful to have lived my dream every day throughout my career. I would like to thank each and every organization, all of my coaches and the staff members for your help over the years. A special thank you to all of my teammates. I will miss our friendships, laughter and camaraderie.
Thank you to my parents, Larry and Carla, for sacrificing so much to make my dreams a reality. I have learned from your example, and that is the standard for the father I aspire to be. My brother, Jay, thank you for your support and friendship. I am forever grateful to my wife, Lindsay and our three children, Reese, Lucy and Brooks. Without your love, extreme sacrifice and unwavering support throughout all the moves, I would not have enjoyed playing as long as I did.
After living in ten cities, I am looking forward to spending time with my family, settling in Boston and being a father.”
Lee Stempniak will always have roots in Boston, Massachusetts and we at the Black N’ Gold Hockey website wish him the best on all his future endeavours outside of hockey.