Mike Peca, also known as the little engine who could, has officially called it a career today. The 35-year oldÂ grinding leaderÂ playedÂ 864 career gamesÂ with the Canucks, Sabres, Islanders, Oilers, Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets.Â During that time, he talliedÂ 176 goals, 289 assists and 798 penalty minutes.Â Â On two seperate occasions, he reachedÂ the Stanley Cup FinalsÂ (Buffalo in 1999 and Edmonton 2006).Â He also helped Canada capture the gold medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“I truly have enjoyed my entire career as an NHL player,” Peca said in a statement through the NHLPA. “Playing the game at the highest level, with and against the top hockey players in the world, has been a pleasure. Throughout my 13-season career I was fortunate to play on some exceptional hockey teams, particularly the 2002 Canadian Olympian team and the Sabres and Oilers teams that reached the Cup finals. Really I am grateful for the lasting friendships and memories that the game of hockey has given me, and I would like to thank my family, teammates, and the fans for all their support along the way.”
It was an exciting time for Leafs fans when Mike Peca signed and suited up to lead Toronto’s penalty-killing single-handedly, but a disheartening knee on knee collision had ended his tenure with the club.
“Today, I can honestly say that I am able to walk away from the game as a player knowing that I always left everything I had on the ice,” Peca said in a statement.Â “I appreciate everything hockey has given me, and I hope that I earned the respect of my great teammates and opponents by playing the only way I knew how to.”
Perhaps the most memorable Mike Peca moment for Leaf fans is looking back at the developed hatred between he and Darcy Tucker. Once he signed with the Leafs, that hatred disappeared and the two become close friends. Click Here to take a look at this highlight fight between the two foes turned friends.
What was your favorite Mike Peca moment?
Micheal A. Aldred