Radek Dvorak was one of the few bright spots for the New York Rangers circa 1998 through the first lockout. He Petr Nedved and Jan Hlavac made sweet, sweet music as New York’s ‘Czech Mates’ line and were pretty much the only reason to watch the Rangers back then, unless you were a Valeri Kamensky fan. Gaaa, forgot about that guy.
Now, he has retired from the league per an NHLPA release.
Dvorak carved out quite a lengthy career -- mostly because he could skate incredibly well. He played 1,260 contests in his career for the Florida Panthers, Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks and the Carolina Hurricanes.
Sadness, we lose another Thrasher.
“It was an honor for me to play in the best league in the world for 18 seasons,” Dvorak said in the release. “I would like to thank to all the organizations, coaches and teammates I played for or with. Also, thank you to my parents, wife and kids who have always supported me and helped me throughout my whole career. At last I would like to thank to my fans who believed in and followed me all these years.”
Holy hell, Dvorak played 18 seasons in the NHL? Where has the time gone. He was also a rookie on the 1995-96 Florida team that went to the Stanley Cup Final that year. His best season was 2000-01 with the Rangers were Dvorak teamed with Nedved and Hlavac to score 31 goals and 67 points. It was the only time in his career hitting the 30-goal mark (or 20 for that matter), never hitting the full level of his talent.
That being said 1,260 games through two lockouts is a lot.
Cheers Radek on a solid NHL career. And adios to the final 'Czech Mate' in the NHL.
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