39-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Paul Kariya Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2010.
Kariya has announced his retirement, the Toronto Globe & Mail reports.
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Paul Kariya: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Paul Kariya.
Now an unrestricted free agent, Kariya has enjoyed an illustrious 15-year career, including two seasons with more than 100 points. There have been reports that Teemu Selanne is pulling for Kariya to reunite with him on Anaheim, but as of mid-August, Kariya has not committed to any team. If he ultimately signs on with a team that's willing to give him a meaningful role, it wouldn't surprise us to see him churn out one more season with 50 points.
Kariya was off to a quick start in 2008-09 (15 points in 11 games) before losing his season to a bad hip, which eventually led to surgery on both hips. He claims to have picked up speed and can sustain it for longer periods since undergoing those procedures. Had the Blues played another playoff game, we may have seen him return last season. There's plenty of motivation for Kariya, who wants to put the lost season behind him while entering the final year of a contract. There's certainly been a downward trend in his points, but there's more talent surrounding him now than in the past. Whether on the first line or second, Kariya, who still involves others as well as any forward, will skate with more goal scorers.
Kariya appears to be approaching the downside of his career, but he is still the most talented forward on the Blues and will still see maximum time on the power play. Kariya has added about 10 pounds with a new weight training program in the offseason. His production tailed off significantly in the second half of 2007-08 so he and the Blues hope the added strength help this season.
At the age of 33, he should have plenty left in the tank to contribute in his first season with St. Louis, his fourth NHL team. Kariya was just another cog in the offensive wheel during his brief stints with Nashville and Colorado, and responded with mediocre seasons (for him, anyway). Now, he comes into St. Louis as the Blues' best offensive player, a role in which he seems to flourish, and one he has not seen since his days with Anaheim when he was top dog on the team along with Teemu Selanne. All he needs is one or two linemates to find the right chemistry with (e.g., Brad Boyes, Keith Tkachuk or even Lee Stempniak), and Kariya could easily be back in 100-point range this season. Some guys in your league might pass him over on draft day, thinking his stats will take a hit this year because his supporting cast won't be as strong as it was last season. Be ready to snatch him up a round or two later than you normally would.
Many people were skeptical of Kariya when he signed with the Predators as a free-agent last season. There were many doubts as to whether he could return to the form and health that he displayed while with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks earlier in his career. Kariya didn�t disappoint, going on to post 31 goals and 54 assists for 85 points in his first campaign with Nashville. All three categories are new franchise records. Kariya enters this season as the last on his current contract with the Predators. There will be plenty of motivation as well as strong supporting cast for the veteran to push the bar even higher.
After suffering through a miserable year in 2003-04 (36 points in 51 games for Colorado), Kariya joins the Predators as their first ever name-brand superstar. How much he has left in the tank heading into his 11th NHL season is unknown, but Nashville will give him every chance on their #1 line and power play unit to rediscover the point-per-game form he showed in his Anaheim heyday. Without a Teemu Selanne to pair him with, that kind of production is probably unreasonable. But with some solid power forwards in Walker and Scott Hartnell to ride shotgun for him, Kariya should find plenty of open ice, and a 60-point season.