Former UMaine Star Paul Kariya Retires from Pro Hockey
Arguably the greatest player to ever wear a Maine Black Bear uniform is calling it a career. Paul Kariya is retiring from professional hockey after 15 seasons due to post concussion syndrome. He attended the University of Maine for only a year and a half but in the process became one of college hockey’s greatest players.Kariya only played at UMaine for 51 games, but the college hockey world had never seen a player quite like him before. In his freshman year, kariya racked up 25 goals and 75 assists for 100 points, setting a Black Bear single season record. That year he won the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player and in the national championship game against Lake Superior. Kariya set up linemate Jim Montgomery on Maine’s final three goals lifting the Black Bears to a 5-4 win and the 1993 national championship.It was only a matter of time before he suited up in the NHL. Just like in college, kariya left an indelible mark on all he played with. 989 career points in 989 regular-season games. A two-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy and a seven-time all-star.But concussions took away a big part of Kariya’s game. Several blows to the head forced kariya to sit out last season. Even after months of physical therapy and training, Kariya has decided to retire from the NHL.In comments to reporters this afternoon, kariya slammed the NHL for it’s handling of concussions. He fears a player may someday die on the ice if action is not done to eliminate head shots in the NHL.