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OHL graduate Matt Stajan announces retirement

 

After a commendable 14 NHL seasons and 1,003 games played, Matt Stajan has officially announced his retirement from the league.

The Mississauga-born centreman spent three seasons in the OHL with the Belleville Bulls, amassing 206 points (76-130-206) in 182 games from 2000-03.

Stajan was drafted by his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Following the conclusion of his final season with the Bulls, where he finished ninth in OHL scoring with 94 points, he suited up for his first game with the AHL’s St. John’s Maple Leafs and registered an assist in a tilt with the Manitoba Moose. He was then called up to Toronto, making his debut against the Ottawa Senators and scoring his first NHL goal.

Stajan was added to the 2003-2004 Maple Leafs roster and played four full seasons wearing the blue and white, totaling 223 points (87-136-223) in 445 games. During the 2004-2005 lockout, he put up 66 points (23-43-66) in an 80-game season back with St. John’s. In January of 2010, midway through his fifth season with the Leafs, he was traded to the Calgary Flames in a blockbuster deal that sent future captain Dion Phaneuf to Toronto. Stajan finished out the year in Calgary with 16 points (3-23-26) in 27 games, rounding out a career-high 57 points, and would play his next eight seasons as a member of the Flames.

Though he was sidelined with a number of injuries at various points throughout his Calgary tenure, Stajan played an integral offensive role in the Flames’ 2015 playoff fun, which was the team’s first post-season appearance since 2008-2009. In Game 6 of the first-round playoff series with the Vancouver Canucks, Stajan scored the series-clinching goal that would see Calgary face the Anaheim Ducks in the second round, a series they would ultimately lose in five games.

In August of 2018, and after 190 points (59-131-190) in 558 games with the Flames, Stajan signed with EHC Red Bull München of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) and amassed 33 points (13-20-33) in his single season.

In addition to his successful OHL and lengthy NHL careers, Stajan won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2003 World Junior Championships.

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