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NHL Notebook: Zdeno Chara, P.K. Subban and Keith Yandle retire, Horvat and the Canucks talk contract and more

A trio of defencemen who defined the 2000s and 2010s as some of the best at their position all announced their retirements on Tuesday.

Zdeno Chara. P.K. Subban. Keith Yandle. All household names for NHL fans, the giants’ final days have come and gone.

Drafted by the New York Islanders in the third round of the 1996 draft, Chara’s break in the NHL came when he was dealt with a 2001 first-round draft pick that later turned into Jason Spezza to the Ottawa Senators.

He later captained the Boston Bruins for 14 years winning the 2011 Stanley Cup, the Mark Messier Leadership award that same year, as well as the 2008-09 James Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman. Along the way, Chara, now 45, was named to seven all-star teams and was one of the most fearsome rearguards in the league.

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Subban, meanwhile, steps away from the game at 33 years old following a 13-year career. Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens 43rd overall in the 2007 draft, Subban didn’t break into the league until 2010-11, but quickly became one of the league’s most electric players winning the Norris Trophy in 2012-13, his third year in the league.

Known for his smooth skating, puck-moving ability and hard shot, Subban helped usher in a larger wave of offensive defenceman and was quick in becoming a major personality in the league. As quick as he rose, he also fell. His decline hit hard in 2018-19 with the Nashville Predators and he didn’t quite look the same the last three years with the New Jersey Devils, either.

Yandle, 36, steps away from the game as the NHL’s Ironman leader skating in 989 consecutive games between 2009 and 2022. Yandle broke into the league with the Phoenix Coyotes after being drafted by them in the 4th round of the 2005 draft and later had stints with the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and the Philadelphia Flyers.

Horvat and the Canucks…

Contract talks have reportedly begun between the Bo Horvat and Vancouver Canucks, and things are… already not going great.

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DailyFaceoff’s Frank Seravalli was on Sportsnet 650 the other day, and reportedly said the Canucks’ initial offer that started with a “5” has left a sour taste.

Amid many changes over the last eight years, Bo Horvat — the Canucks’ captain — has remained one constant. He’s played in 572 games over that time scoring 170 goals and 366 points and is coming off a six-year deal paying him an AAV of $5.5-million.

It’s safe to say that Horvat is more than deserving of a salary higher than a five. Vancouver had some tough negotiations with J.T. Miller before he committed to an eight-year deal paying him an $8-million AAV.

The Leafs Love Milk

The Toronto Maple Leafs became the ninth NHL team to unveil their jersey sponsors on Tuesday by unvieiling a partnership with a local company.

The Leafs will don “MILK” on their jersey, as sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

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“Just as milk nourishes healthy bodies, Ontario’s dairy farming families proudly nourish healthy communities, and that’s been the focus of our ongoing partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs,” said Cheryl Smith, CEO of Dairy Farmers of Ontario, in a statement released Tuesday by the Leafs. “Placing our Milk logo on the Leafs’ sweaters is a symbol of this shared commitment, and of milk’s role in building strong bodies and healthy lives.”


Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]


#NATIONVACATION TO LAS VEGAS

  • When: On Thursday, January 12th, we’re jumping on a flight at the Edmonton International Airport and making our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we’ll fly back from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates that you need to block off for this trip are January 12th to 15th.
  • Where we’re staying: After landing in LV, we’ll jump on the free shuttle and make our way to the Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
  • What you get: Your roundtrip flight, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry — we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry into our pre-trip ‘get to know everyone’ event.
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1499 per person (based on double occupancy)
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.