Former Canadiens star Tomáš Plekanec announces retirement

The longtime Hab played parts of fifteen seasons in Montreal before finishing his career in his native Czechia.

After spending the last few years of his hockey career with Kladno in the Czech Extraliga, Tomas Plekanec retired from the sport.

As Marc Antoine Godin wrote, the popular former Montreal Canadiens forward “hung up his turtleneck.”

An injury convinced the 40-year-old to call it quits, with Plekanec playing nine games for Kladno this season while collecting a goal and three assists. Plekanec also suited up with Jaromir Jagr and his squad during both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.

Looking back at the stellar NHL career of Tomas Plekanec

While he ended his career with an extended stay close to home, most fans likely remember his long run with the Canadiens. The Canadiens selected Plekanec with a third-round pick (71st overall) back in 2001. The pivot eventually played a remarkable 984 of his 1,001 NHL regular-season games with Montreal, at one point wearing the “A” as an alternate captain.

Plenty of Habs fans — and maybe some fans in Toronto — may prefer to forget Plekanec being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Montreal moved Plekanec during the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline, with the veteran only managing two points in 17 games during the regular season before collecting four points in 7 playoff games.

Plekanec ultimately concluded his career playing three more games with Montreal in 2018-19, including his 1000th career game, before heading to Kladno.

Tomas Plekanec has retired from professional hockey. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
Tomas Plekanec has retired from professional hockey. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

Upon announcing his retirement, praise quickly poured in for Plekanec.

InGoal Magazine’s Paul Campbell pointed out Plekanec’s all-around brilliance (“his solid, unrelenting, constant presence”) rather than what might show up in highlight reels.

Plekanec generated eight 20+ goal seasons in Montreal, peaking with a 25-goal, 70-point campaign in 2009-10. This three-year player card from Evolving Hockey is a nice snapshot of his peak with the Habs.

Via Evolving Hockey
Via Evolving Hockey

Overall, he scored 233 goals and 375 assists for 608 points in 1,001 games to go along with 18 goals and 53 points in 94 career playoff games. Much like Jagr, there was the sense he could have given NHL fans even a touch more, but he authored a heck of a career.