Saturday, May 16, 2009
A few days before we starting publishing this blog, Markus Näslund announced his retirement after 15 years in the NHL with Pittsburgh, long-time home Vancouver and a final season with the New York Rangers. By retiring, the always classy Näslund leaves a minimum of $2 million on the table, the amount to buy out the final year of his contract. Näslund, along with players like Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemiuex, falls into the category of Players You Have to Admire on Teams You Hate.
Näslund played 12 seasons in Vancouver, seven as captain, leading the franchise in goals (346) and points (756) and won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the League's Most Outstanding Player in 2003, as voted by members of the players association. Näslund also won two Bronze Medals and a Silver at the World Championships playing for his native Sweden, as well as two silvers as a junior at the World Junior Championships, where he holds the record for most goals scored in a single tournament with 13 goals in 7 games played.
Today's featured jersey is a 2005-06 Vancouver Canucks Markus Näslund jersey with the NHL Cares/Katrina Relief Fund patch as worn by Näslund on October 5th, 2005 in a 3-2 win vs. the Phoenix Coyotes, a game where Näslund scored two goals and spoiled Wayne Gretzky's coaching debut.
The NHL Cares patch was worn by all players during just the first period of their first home game of the season. The game worn jerseys were then auctioned off for charity to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.
Näslund was also featured on the cover of the NHL 2005 video game and some wonderful commercials for Nike.