August 27, 2010
Back in April, Paul Kariya(notes) was still on the fence about playing in the 2010-11 season, saying he'd take time to evaluate his next move even though he was pleased with how he played in the second half of the season with the St. Louis Blues.
But it was easy to buy into the notion Kariya was going to play again, what with friend Teemu Selanne(notes) openly courting him to return to the Anaheim Ducks. So it came as a bit of a shock on Friday evening when Kariya's agent Don Baizley revealed the Kariya won't be joining the Ducks or anyone else. From the NHLPA:
"Paul Kariya will not play hockey during the 2010/11 season. After being examined by concussion specialist Dr. Mark Lovell, Paul is not able to play hockey due to post-concussion syndrome."
The AP noted that Kariya missed six games in December and January after suffering a concussion, and he's had a history of concussions -- including one that kept him from the 1998 Winter Olympics. His absence last season began after the Blues' Dec. 27 game against the Buffalo Sabres, in which Patrick Kaleta(notes) did this:
Kariya played just 4:26 that night and didn't return until Jan. 12, 2010.
So there go the Selanne reunion, the dreams of Kariya playing on Sidney Crosby's(notes) wing and all the rest of the speculation. For those hoping to see Kariya play again, the statement said nothing about retirement. But, obviously, we'd like to hear that confirmed by Kariya at some point.