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Old 12-01-2007, 10:55 AM   #252
Bronx33
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Default Wes Walz drama is over

Wes Walz announces retirement..

The Wild has called a 10:30 news conference for this morning at Xcel Energy Center where 37-year-old center Wes Walz, the Wild’s all-time leader with 438 games played, will announce his retirement from the NHL, two NHL sources confirmed Friday night.

Walz, one of two last Original Wild players along with Marian Gaborik, has been on indefinite leave from the team since Nov. 1. Walz’s 82 goals and 182 points rank second in franchise history behind Gaborik.

A tremendous-skating checker, Walz has been a heart-and-soul leader, one who has been a positive influence on up-and-comers like Mikko Koivu and Brent Burns.

In 2002-03, Walz was a Selke Trophy (NHL’s best defensive forward) finalist, and that was before a marvelous playoff in which he scored seven goals and shut down stars like Peter Forsberg.

Walz, a former Boston Bruins’ pick, was a junior star for Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League (83 points and 244 points). He spent the next several years shuffling back and forth between the NHL and minors before spending four years in Switzerland. But in 2000, General Manager Doug Risebrough called with an offer from the expansion Wild, where he’s spent seven years.

“I thought for sure I was riding off into the sunset 10 years ago,” Walz said in January 2006. “But I always felt I had more to give over here. I’m just so glad I was given an opportunity to satisfy my dreams of playing in the NHL and maybe even having an impact.”

In April 2006, Walz said, “I don’t think I’m going to be one of those guys who’s going to hang on and they’re going to cut my skates off. I enjoy coming to the rink. I love competing. But there’s more to life than hockey.”

As for my postgame updates, I direct you to my gamer if OK…Lots of work still to do.
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