Former NHLer Suddenly Ends Playing Career After 20 Years Due to Health Issues

Published October 28, 2023 at 8:53

Tomas Plekanec had been playing professional hockey since 2003. Despite the fact that it looked like he could continue for a while, he has announced his career is now officially over.

Since retiring from the NHL in 2018, Plekanec had been playing with Klado, the team Jaromir Jagr owns in the Czech Extra Liiga. In fact, he's been serving as the team's captain. However, a news release on the website says Plekanec is now officially done.

"I have to stop due to health reasons. I was hoping that a few weeks' rest would have been enough, but that's not the case. I am terribly sorry. I would have liked to help my team, but it would be a huge risk for me."


Kladno has named Radek Smoleňák, who played seven games in the NHL, as the team's new captain, and vowed to hit the free agent market to find another player to bolster the team. Meanwhile, Plekanec did not get into specifics on his injury.

Jagr had nothing but prise for Plekanec.

"Pleky, thank you for helping us when we needed it most. You sacrificed yourself for Kladno."

"You were a huge role model for the team and I could always count on you."

"And when I came back to the game, you always made it easy for me, because you understand me and get along with me on the ice. A long time ago you could have devoted yourself to your family and stopped playing hockey, but you helped us as long as your health allowed. Above all, I wish you health and happiness."

Plekanec played 1001 games in the NHL, all of them with the Montreal Canadiens, except for 17 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was drafted by Montreal in the 3rd round, 71st overall, in 2001.
October 28   |   31 answers
Former NHLer Suddenly Ends Playing Career After 20 Years Due to Health Issues

Did you get to see Plekanec play in person during his long NHL career?

Yes1961.3 %
No1135.5 %
can't remember13.2 %
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