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Was Last Tuesday the National Retirement Day for NHL Defensemen?

Tuesday was quite the day for the NHL defensemen to retire. PK Subban, Zdeno Chara, and Keith Yandle all retired on Tuesday, September 20. Let’s take a look at each one of their memorable careers.

Keith Yandle played 989 games throughout 16 seasons. Yandle set the NHL record last season for consecutive games played. The 36-year-old defenseman had 19 points with one goal and 18 assists in 77 games with the Philadelphia Flyers last season. Yandle was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the fourth round of the 2005 NHL draft and since then he has played with the Coyotes, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, and the Flyers. He had 619 points in 1,109 games with all the teams he had been a part of. Yandle also had 36 points in 58 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He played in the NHL All-Star Game Three times in 2011, 2012, and 2019. With all that he has accomplished on the ice, his teammates also talked about how much energy he brings to the locker room and how good his work ethic is.

Zdeno Chara was drafted in the third round of the 1996 NHL draft by the New York Islanders. He has played 1,690 games with 209 goals and 471 assists. The 45-year-old, 6’9” defenseman, announced that he would retire after 24 seasons. Chara has played with the Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Bruins, and Washington Capitals. He was the Bruins captain and the recipient of the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in 2009. Chara also won the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 and won the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award during his 2010-2011 season with the Bruins. He was a flag bearer for Slovakia in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The three-time NHL All-Star holds the record for the hardest shot at the All-Star Skills Competition which was 108.8 mph in 2012. Chara retired from the NHL, signing a one-day contract with the Bruins.

PK Subban played 13 seasons in the NHL with teams like the Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, and New Jersey Devils. Subban played 834 games, with 115 goals and 467 points. He revealed his retirement in an Instagram post and in the caption, he said, “I remember my dreams of playing in the NHL and winning a Stanley Cup.” PK also mentioned, “I never looked at myself or ever felt I was ‘just a hockey player.’ I always looked at myself as a person who happened to play hockey.”

Subban was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 2007 and he debuted for the Canadiens in 2010. He played six seasons with them and became a very superior player which led to him winning the 2013 Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman. In the 2014 Games in Sochi, Subban won Olympic gold representing Canada. In 2016, he was traded to the Nashville Predators, then traded again in 2019 to the New Jersey Devils before becoming an unrestricted free agent in July. Subban says, “I look forward to the road ahead, and many exciting opportunities to come.”

Keith Yandle, Zdeno Chara, and PK Subban have made an impact on the game that will last forever. All of their accomplishments will be remembered by lots of fans and continue to make an impact on the younger generation.

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