ALSO ON SLAM!
Tuesday, December 14, 1999
Bodger retires from CanucksVANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Doug Bodger, choosing to spend time with his family rather than reporting to the minors, retired Tuesday after 16 seasons.
Bodger, who didn't fit into the Canucks plans after playing only 13 games this season, made his announcement after he cleared waivers and was to be assigned to Syracuse of the American Hockey League.
Bodger had considered retirement last summer before he agreed to a one-year, $700,000 contract to play for the hometown Canucks, who held an option to sign him for an additional year.
After feeling down a day earlier, the 33-year-old Bodger was upbeat following the announcement.
"It's a celebration. It's a celebration of a good career, one I thought went beyond my expectations," said Bodger, who played in 1,071 NHL games.
"It's been good. I accomplished a lot personally. The only thing I'm missing is something for the team, like a championship, which is probably what still kept me going in the game. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it has to be."
Selected ninth overall by Pittsburgh in the 1984 draft, he split a majority of his career between the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. The Canucks were his sixth club and fourth in the last three seasons.
Bodger recorded just one assist this year, in which he was listed as a healthy scratch in 15 games. For his career, Bodger has compiled 106 goals and 528 points.
Noting that he was almost resigned to retiring last summer, Bodger said that he will now be able to concentrate on his family -- he and his wife Tracey have two children -- and his two sporting good operations in B.C.
Bodger sensed that it was time to retire.
"I don't think my heart was into it anymore. My priority wasn't hockey, it was probably my family more than hockey," he said. "Maybe the best thing was to give it up and call it a career. I thought I'd probably be more upset than I really am. But, like I say, it's a happy time."